Police shot and killed a gunman during a shootout early Tuesday who was suspected of fatally shooting a woman over a child-custody dispute and firing shots at a Detroit police station, authorities said.
Members of the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team approached the 28-year-old man at about 7am as he sat holding an AR-15 rifle in an SUV in a parking lot on the city’s east side, Chief James Craig said in a morning press conference.
Craig said that as the officers asked the gunman to drop his weapon and raise his hands, the suspect shook his head to indicate no, prompting ‘an exchange of gunfire between the subject and several SRT officers.’
No officers were injured in the shootout, but the man, who has not been named, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators believe the suspect, who has a history of domestic violence, had earlier killed the mother of his child and was planning to take the life of a police officer.
The 28-year-old had also hours earlier reportedly fired four shots at the police department’s 5th Precinct building, before fleeing the scene and shooting at pursuing patrol cars.
‘They knew going in this was a very dangerous suspect,’ Craig told reporters.
The male 28-year-old suspect was shot dead by police Tuesday morning at around 7am. He has not yet been named by police (An officer is pictured above at the scene of the fatal shooting)
Officers from the department’s Special Response Team approached the 28-year-old man about 7am as he sat holding an AR-15 rifle in an SUV. The gunfire erupted after he reportedly refused to drop the weapon
The ordeal first began at around 11:15pm on Monday night, when police responded to the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old mother near Grand River and Warren streets.
Craig said the mother, who is yet to be publicly named, was killed during a dispute over child custody.
The ordeal began at around 11:15pm on Monday night, when police responded to the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old mother near Grand River and Warren streets, according to Police Chief James Craig (above)
By the time police arrived at the scene of the shooting, the suspect had already fled.
Then, hours later at 5:15am, police say the same suspect ‘very boldly’ drove up to the Detroit Police Department 5th Precinct building on Conner and Mack streets in a black SUV.
‘He pulls up to the front of the police station,’ Craig said Tuesday. ‘He gets out with a high powered weapon, leans over the hood and begins to fire four shots into the police station.’
The police chief said it’s unclear why the suspect chose to 5th Precinct building, adding investigators are currently unaware of ‘any connection between the [station] and the suspect.’
A police lieutenant inside the building took cover and called for assistance, to which several units responded.
Meanwhile, the suspect drove away and reportedly fired at a police car as he was fleeing, shattering the car’s windshield.
An officer in the squad car was injured after being cut with flying glass, Craig said.
Hours before the deadly shooting, the suspect had reportedly murdered the wife of his child in a custody dispute and later opened fire at the Detroit PD’s 5th Precinct building (above)
The man reportedly drove away from the precinct and shot at at least one patrol car, shattering the windshield. The officer behind the will was cut by a shard of glass, officials said
Investigators believe the suspect, who has a history of domestic violence, had already killed the mother of his child and was planning to take the life of a police officer (pictured: The Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team is seen stood behind an armored vehicle after the shooting)
The man continued driving at speed for less than a block and then parked up in the lot of a closed business.
‘He just sat there,’ the chief said, adding it was at this time that the department’s Special Response Team was summoned. Michigan Police also arrived to assist in the stand-off.
Craig said several officers attempted to make contact with the man but all efforts failed to yield a response.
Officers then used an armored vehicle to approach him and block his vehicle in the lot to prevent him from leaving.
As officers approached, they reportedly saw the man holding the AR-15 rifle against his chest.
Police ordered the man to show them his hands, but he shook his head ‘meaning negative’, Craig said. The man was then fatally shot by police during a volley of gunfire.
After the man was struck, officers immediately deployed life-saving measures but were ultimately unsuccessful.
It’s unclear how many shots were fired in the deadly exchange. Craig said police continue to investigate the incident.
After allegedly murdering the mother of his children late Monday, the man reportedly sent text messages to the victim’s family.
Paraphrasing those messages on Tuesday, Craig said: ‘I told y’all I was going to kill this victim if my child was taken,’ and then made references to police and a judge.
Officers then used an armored vehicle to approach the man and block his vehicle in the lot to prevent him from leaving. Investigators say the made several attempts to contact the man, but were unsuccessful
After the man was struck by gunfire, officers immediately deployed life-saving measures but were ultimately unsuccessful
Craig said while it’s still unclear why he specifically targeted the 5th precinct, he said it may be related to the police he mentioned in his text message to the victim.
‘The facts may change as we go deeper into the investigation,’ Craig said. ‘This is what we know now.’
The police chief added that as officers were following him, the suspect put on his turn signals and tapped his brake lights – a tactic that shooters use when they are trying to lure in police.
‘We believed if patrol officers approached him, he would have engaged them and that’s exactly what happened when the Special Response Team responded. But they came in with armored vehicles,’ Craig said. ‘If he had gotten away, there could have been additional carnage.’
Craig said this was his department’s 31st barricaded suspect or high-risk incident this year.
People who live nearby to where the shooting occurred recalled waking up to gunshots to Click On Detroit.
‘I heard three gunshots. It sounded like it was an AR-15. I heard three gunshots. So then, I step outside to go get my coffee, everything is blocked off,’ a resident who lives in the area but wasn’t named, said.