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Score of shootings spooks Michigan area

WIXOM, Mich. — Five schools kept children off playgrounds and nervous commuters changed their routes Monday as authorities searched for a suspect in more than 20 random, unsolved shootings in southeastern Michigan.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard urged the public to be vigilant, saying wide-open eyes were critical.

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‘‘If you see something, say something. We’d rather check out 10 false things than miss one real,’’ Bouchard said.

No one has been hurt, and no shootings have occurred since Thursday. But a task force with officers from nine departments raised the number to 22 shootings after getting fresh reports in the region.

The shootings have happened in four counties. Most involve cars near Interstate 96, though authorities said one occurred while a man was taking out his trash. A woman said the rear window on her car was shattered. Ten of the 22 shootings were in Wixom in Oakland County.

Tipsters told police the gunman appears to be a man in his 30s, and authorities have released a drawing of a possible suspect, with close-cropped hair and stubble on his cheeks and chin. Police are investigating the shootings as related.

The Walled Lake school district felt compelled to lock doors at five schools in Wixom and keep kids inside at recess on a beautiful fall day, though there was no evidence schools are a target.

Commuter Casey Smiles tweeted that she was taking a different route to Ann Arbor from the Lansing area to avoid the ‘‘scary’’ shooter.

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