DETROIT, MICH. - Police said Tuesday night they'd arrested a suspect in the shooting several hours earlier of a Wayne State University campus police officer -- the first WSU campus cop ever to be shot.
The officer had been shot in the head and was fighting for his life while undergoing surgery late Tuesday night at Detroit Receiving Hospital, police said.
The arrested man is believed to be the person of interest described on the university's website and linked to a blue mountain bike, which found at the scene of the shooting at 6:45 p.m. several blocks southwest of the WSU campus.
"The officer is very critical," said Wayne State Police Chief Anthony Holt during a news conference at the hospital with Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. Police said the officer had been shot in the head.
The officer was patrolling an area a few blocks off campus, near Martin Luther King Blvd. and Trumbull, when he stopped to investigate a man, Holt said. It was unclear whether the officer had responded to a 911 call, although a woman who said she witnessed the shooting also said she'd called 911 about a troublesome man on a bike.
The back-up officer enroute to the scene found the wounded officer on the ground, suffering from at least one serious gunshot wound, Holt said.
More than half a dozen police agencies participated in a massive manhunt, including Detroit police, Wayne County Sheriff's deputies, Michigan State Police and federal agents from several agencies.
The officer was shot in front of the aging Lincoln Apartments at 3650 Lincoln, a block north of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and a block east of Trumbull, in sight of the Motor City Casino's shimmering neon lights and an pocked with weedy vacant lots.
At least three shots were fired, according to Wayne State officials.
A dozen police cars as well as emergency vehicles surrounded the area, and officers had the entire block closed in front of the building.
The Lincoln Apartments manager, Betty Evans, said she witnessed the shooting. She said she argued with a man on a bicycle, who didn't live there, and called 911 when he wouldn't leave the area. She looked outside as an officer arrived to confront the man on the bike.
"He was outside, in front. The officer was trying to get his hands behind his back. We heard a shot and the officer went down, and we heard two more shots," Evans said.
"I'm just praying everything works out. They have my condolences for this.
"I feel sorry for the officer. I hate the crime that's going on in the city."
Said Wilson: "This is one of the worse calls a president of a university can get." Holt said the officer was a decorated K9 officer who had been with the department for about five years. He called the 29-year-old officer “one of the best officers I know," adding:.
“He does a lot of community service. He reaches out to kids. This is a real member of the community.”
Holt said all police agencies pulled together after the shooting. Prior to the suspect's arrest, Detroit Police Chief James Craig issued a picture of the bicycle that is believed to be used by the shooter.
Holt said of the suspect: "We will get you. You'll be in our custody." Just east of the apartments are rows of townhouses, built a few years ago to replace former high-rise public housing structures that were notorious two decades ago for drug dealing and muggings.
In the alley behind the apartments, two men walked around the police blockade and one called out, "This is Thanksgiving. Catch his butt!" referring to the shooter.
Detroit Free Press