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Man drives through crime scene before being shot and killed by Detroit Police, family says he was suffering from depression

A 27-year-old suspect drove at 2019 GMC Yukon up to the scene and fired a single shot at an officer.
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:04 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 1:10 PM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) - Detroit Police are investigating a deadly incident that spanned from late Sunday night into Monday morning.

Police say they were called to the area of W McNichols and Ward around 10:40 Sunday night on a call that five people were shot. At the same time, there was a car crash at the same location that left one man in critical condition and the other dead. Police believe one of the two was struck and was connected to the shooting, however, it is unclear exactly how.

As police were investigating around 2:30 a.m., a 27-year-old suspect drove at 2019 GMC Yukon up to the scene and fired a single shot at an officer, striking the side of a police cruiser.

The suspect fled, striking two parked police vehicles, starting a high-speed pursuit. Police pursued the suspect through the westside, down Woodward Ave., around Campus Martius, ending on Detroit’s east side near 8 Mile and Gratiot Ave. Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the chase reached speeds of 100 mph at times.

“Clearly this was a suspect that we had to apprehend,” Chief Craig said. “He was focused on one thing and one thing only: to kill a police officer.”

The suspect eventually exited his vehicle and once again began shooting at officers, who returned fire. The suspect ran on foot, being pursued by police on foot and in cruisers.

The suspect and the first officer to find him exchanged gunfire where the suspect was struck. The officer quickly rendered first aid before being taken to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead. His identity has not been released.

A Smith & Wesson .40 caliber gun was found at the scene. Police reported a strong smell of alcohol on the suspect and found an open alcohol bottle.

Two short videos were shown at Monday morning’s press briefing. One was of the culmination of the vehicle pursuit, the other was the suspect running around a corner and being pursued by a police vehicle before more shots were fired and officers pursued the suspect on foot.

“You can clearly see from the two videos when he exited the vehicle, he had a gun in hand and he was clearly firing shots at our officers,” said Commander Eric Decker of the Detroit Police Homicide Unit. “As he made it around the corner, officers approached a second time. He still had the gun in hand and directed that at officers on two different occasions. Officers returned fire and the suspect was fatally struck.”

Decker said Michigan State Police will be reviewing all body-worn and dash cameras involved.

Chief Craig said the suspect may have sat in the vehicle near the scene, consuming alcohol and playing loud music, lying in wait as though he was “preparing for battle.”

The day before, the suspect lost a 21-year-old friend to violence after a dice game resulted in a shooting incident. Detroit Police spoke with the 27-year-old suspect’s mother who said he was very distraught over the loss of his friend. The suspect posted on Facebook, “I’m hurt, man,” following the loss of his friend. He had also lost a 6-month-old cousin, but the cause of death was unclear.

The suspect had little criminal history, leading police to dig further into why this event unfolded.

Chief Craig noted “reckless” comments by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Congresswoman Talib (D-MI) have fueled anger and unprovoked violence.

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