Chief Releases Details, Video Of Most Recent Detroit Police Shootings

WWJ News
July 27, 2020 - 4:22 pm
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(WWJ) Detroit police say an alleged drug dealer was armed when was shot by officers late last night.

This was third time in three weeks that Detroit police officers shot a suspect in the city, according to Detroit Police James Craig. 

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The chief maintains that — although investigations are ongoing — all three shootings were justified, 

Releasing more details about Sunday's incident, Craig said officers working on a drag racing and drifting detail spotted the suspect with a gun outside a gas station on Wyoming near Plymouth.

"(Project) Green Light video shows him engaging in several narcotics sale exchanges, several," Craig said. "Now, the reason for the officers, who had reasonable suspicion to stop and investigate further, was the fact that they could see that this person was armed with a gun."

When the officers approached the suspect, he took off running.

"The officer, believing he would be shot, he fired between five and six rounds," Craig told WWJ's Vickie Thomas and other reporters. "Several rounds did strike the suspect."

The 27-year-old man, whose name has not been released, remained hospitalized in stable condition on Monday.

This was the only one of the three recent Detroit police shootings in which the wounded suspect survived. 

At the same press briefing, Chief Craig also showed body cam video of a chase and shooting on July 23 in which an alleged gunman, wanted in connection with a quadruple shooting, was killed. 

Video shows a trio of suspects pursued by police on the city's east side get out of a car and try to run away.

"As we continue to go through the video, you will see one suspect who is armed with a blue steel (semi) automatic," Craig said. "And at several points throughout his contact, prior to being take to the ground, he literally points the weapon in the direction of one of our officers, the officer wearing a body-worn camera. You will see a clear view."

That's when an officer killed the suspect with a single shot.

"It's a very difficult place to be, and I would ask your viewers, your listeners...Put yourself in that officer's shoes just for one second, and try to understand," the chief said. "I've been in those situations throughout my career where I've had to make a decision: Do I shoot, or do I not shoot? And you don't have much time to make that decision. The last thing an officer wants to do is to use fatal force."

Two additional unarmed suspects were arrested. A second gun was found in the suspects' vehicle. 

One of the teens wounded in the quadruple shooting died over the weekend, Craig said. 

That followed the July 10 incident with alleged "gang involvement" at San Juan Street near McNichols. Video showed 20-year old Hakim Littleton firing shots a police officer before he was killed.  

As per DPD policy, officers involved in any shooting are placed on administrative leave as the incidents are investigated. The names of the officers have not been released.