The fatal shooting of a Wayne State University police officer — who died in Detroit this week in a weedy field seven blocks from campus — moved mourners to pay their respects with stuffed animals taped to a no-parking sign.
Thousands more may get the chance to express their condolences when Wayne State University holds a memorial service Wednesday for Officer Collin Rose at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.
"This is through the generosity of the Lions," said WSU Police Chief Anthony Holt. The timing of the service had not yet been set by Friday night, although it's likely to be afternoon or early evening. Rose, a canine officer who specialized in detecting explosives, "worked every Lions game and the concerts, too," strolling through crowds with bomb-sniffing police dogs, he said.
Rose's death has touched countless hearts, so authorities expect not only the usual blue tide of uniformed police mourners but also big showings of WSU students, faculty members, animal-welfare advocates — both Rose and his fiancé have been members of Detroit Dog Rescue — and as well a presence of ordinary people from the neighborhoods served by the university's campus police.
"We patrol a 6.5-mile radius around the campus," including the Woodbridge neighborhood where Rose was shot, Holt said.
On Friday afternoon, a family of Detroiters who live about a half-mile east of the shooting site near Trumbull and Grand River walked over to pay their respects.
Olivia Walters, 21, and her mother, Tina Walters, 39, taped a card that said "With Our Deepest Sympathy" to the steel post of a sign that said "No Parking — Fire Route," which stood beside an old mattress and broken sofa. Up and down the post, others had taped plastic flowers and stuffed animals. On the faux-furry back of the largest animal, a horse, Tina Walters' son Lamont Walters, 10, placed a quarter. He wanted to put more money there, but his mother said no.
"Any more than that, you're giving to the fund for this man," she said.
Earlier, Olivia had been to the Wayne State police station to add a card alongside bouquets leaning against the building, and grouped around a sign reading: "Wayne State Police....We are thankful for all that you + Officer Rose have done."
The trio said they'd never met Officer Rose but felt he'd been protecting their neighborhood.
Inside the lobby of the WSU police station, on Cass just north of I-94, photos showed Officer Rose with his police dogs and with fiance Nikki Salgot, including one of Rose down on one knee proposing to Salgot in May. That took place at National Police Week, a gathering of officers from across the country to hold memorial services in Washington, D.C., for those who've died on duty. Rose's name is likely to be one of scores announced at next year's candlelight vigil, police said.
Unaware of the university's fund and perhaps unable to contribute to an already-posted GoFundMe page on the internet in Rose's name, mourners were leaving money Friday with those at the station, Sgt. Robert Hack said, as he took a $20 bill from Bert Vipond, 71, who lives on campus.
"I want to leave this for the officer's family. ... You guys do a good job," Vipond said.
Wayne State University announced Friday that it had begun accepting donations in memory of Officer Collin Rose.
Visit https://cardinal.wayne.edu/wsugiving/give.cfm or mail a check made out to Wayne State University, with "In memory of Collin Rose" in the memo line, to WSU Gift Processing, 5475 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.