Detroit police shoot man to death; third fatality in July

Detroit — A man who was reportedly standing in the middle of a west-side street wielding a sword before throwing a dagger at an officer Thursday became the fourth person to be shot by Detroit police this month, and the third fatality.

The shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. near Grand River and Meyers, Detroit police Chief James Craig said.

“The suspect was standing in the middle of the street armed with a sword,” Craig said. “When officers got there, they told him to drop it. At some point, the suspect takes out a second sword; I think he had three, plus a dagger.

“He throws the dagger, and strikes an officer under his eye,” Craig said. “The officer deploys his Taser, but the suspect appears to be wearing tactical gear, and the Taser doesn’t take effect.

“The officer’s partner then fired a round, striking the suspect,” Craig said. “He was pronounced dead.”

The incident marks the third police-related fatality in Detroit since July 10, and the fourth officer-involved shooting. In two of the fatalities, video shows suspects pointing pistols at officers. 

In the other shootings:

  • On July 10, video released by police shows Hakim Littleton shooting his gun at a Detroit cop feet away from his head, before officers returned fire, killing him.
  • On July 19, police released video showing a high-speed vehicle chase that ended with a car crashing into a tree. Three men fled the car, one of whom is seen brandishing a pistol. Police fatally shot him.
  • A man allegedly was selling drugs in a west-side gas station lot on July 23, when an wow,officer saw a partially concealed pistol on him, Craig said. Following a foot pursuit, Craig said the man pulled out the gun, and, when he did not comply with the officer’s command to drop it, the officer shot him, wounding him.

Craig said the shootings are a result of suspects becoming more brazen recently. He said he’s hearing more reports about aggressive behavior toward officers than at any time since he became chief in 2013.

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