DETROIT – A police officer was shot on Detroit’s west side Wednesday night and died from his injuries, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.
A second officer was shot in the leg, and a suspect was also hit by police returning fire.
“Today is a tragic day for the Detroit Police family,” Craig said outside Sinai Grace Hospital late Wednesday.
“Certainly, our hearts and prayers go out to his family, certainly our community and all of the officers in the Detroit Police Department. He really is a hero,” Craig said.
The slain officer was an 18-year veteran of the force and sustained a single gunshot wound to the neck. Craig did not release his name but did say that the officer’s spouse was informed of his death.
Another officer, a three-year veteran of the force, was shot in the leg and is in “serious condition,” but he is conscious and moving, Craig said.
According to Craig, two officers were responding to a home invasion at about 7:20 p.m. When they arrived, the home’s frantic occupants alerted them to a suspect who was in the home, armed.
Two more officers arrived for backup, and the four entered the home, cleared the upstairs of any suspects, and were coming back downstairs when the suspect opened fired with a rifle.
The suspect was also struck by gunfire and taken to the hospital. He is in custody and has a “lengthy” criminal history, including weapons charges. He was recently released from parole, Craig said.
Craig called the shootout “part of a domestic situation. Preliminarily, I can say he was looking for his girlfriend, he was angry.”
He added of the slain officer: “He was loved. Right here today, more than 275 officers came out to show their support. This is very difficult.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also spoke at the somber scene, saying the city’s police officers “have got to be as courageous as any people in this country.”
“It’s a night for Detroiters to reflect on what these police officers mean to us,” Duggan said. “They’re just on a shift and all of a sudden they’re in a life and death situation.”
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