Collin Rose, the officer shot Tuesday evening at Detroit's Wayne State University, has close ties to West Michigan -- it's where he grew up and began his law enforcement career.

He died around 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, at the hospital.

Rose went to Gull Lake Schools and was a part-time officer at the Richland Police Department. That was the launching pad for officer Rose.

"He had a rocket tied to him and he wanted to go up and up," says Richland Police Chief Jeff Mattioli.

Mattioli hired Rose after he interned with the department in high school for about two years.

Collin Rose
Collin Rose

"Really intelligent, very smart, great with computers, and I jokingly said, 'Hey you don't want to be a cop go do something with computers', and he said, 'No I want to be a cop.' 'Alright, I'll hire you if you want' and we did," Mattioli said.

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Mattioli was also a reference for Rose when he applied to Wayne State University.

"I knew he wasn't going to stay here, he didn't want to police in the same town he grew up in and I don't blame him, that's fine," Mattioli said.

However, no one expected what happened next to the young man known for his smile.

"Big smile and that calms people down a lot, unfortunately it didn't last night," Mattioli said.

"My first thought was I know he's a police officer and I hope he's OK, then I started thinking well there was a shooting out there," says Michael Geschwendt, who played football with Rose in high school.

Geschwendt was a senior at Gull Lake High School when Rose was a junior. Geschwendt describes Rose as talented but humble.

"He was a very good athlete, but never really bragged too much about it," Geschwendt said. "It's just shocking to hear someone I went to high school with all of a sudden is fighting for his life."

The chief says it highlights a disturbing trend.

"In the last week, I think, we've lost four or five execution style, ambushes, this is not something I believe is the majorities feeling, I think this is a very very very small part of society," Mattioli said.

Mattioli points to the overwhelming support from a community hit hard.

"He was one that was a true asset to a community," Mattioli said.