Southfield Police Department photo courtesy: Detroit Free Press
Southfield, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) - Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said it's unclear why a 64-year-old Southfield man entered the police station today, shooting an officer before he was shot dead.
Hawkins said his officers followed protocol when the man tried first to shoot at an officer behind protective glass at the station lobby, then fired on other responding officers, shooting one in the shoulder. That officer, a 50-yearold sergeant with 25 years as a Southfield police officer, was taken with the suspect to Providence Hospital.
The shooter was shot multiple times and died at the hospital, said Hawkins during a news conference. The officer is expected to survive.
"We always try to resolve these incidents non-violently if we can," said Hawkins. "However, the use of force was unavoidable in this circumstance."
Hawkins said the incident occurred around 2:20 p.m., when the man, believed to be driving a White Dodge Caliber, entered the station from the south entrance.
He approached the information desk, which is behind glass, and did not answer when the officer on duty offered assistance. Hawkins said they believe the man pulled the trigger after pulling the gun on the desk officer, but the gun did not fire.
Other officers responded, including the sergeant. They demanded the man drop his gun, and instead,Hawkins said, the man fired upon the responding officers, shooting the sergeant in the shoulder. The officers were wearing protective gear, said Hawkins.
The man was shot several times. Both he and the officer were treated at the police station before being transported to Providence Hospital, said Hawkins.
The officer is expected to make a full recovery. Southfield Police spokesman Lt. Nick Loussia said they could not release the shooter's name until his family has been notified. Police would not release the name of the officer.
"There is no glory is having to take down a criminal," said Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, who spoke with the officer at the hospital. "We are sad as a family that one of our officers was attacked."
Hawkins said the incident would spur the department to re-evaluate security measures. There are public entrances on both sides of the lobby at the main police station at the city's civic center. The information booth is in the lobby, and double doors lead to the second floor records and administrative offices, among other offices.