Detroit —  A 42-year-old man was shot and killed by police and a woman hostage was freed unharmed Friday night on Detroit’s east side.

At a press conference Saturday, Police Chief James Craig said the man held a gun to the back of the woman, who turned out to be his girlfriend, and told her if she ran he was going to shoot her.

He said the woman had told a police negotiator on the phone that she believed him, saying, “I don’t want to die this way.”

Craig said the man was becoming increasingly aggressive and was an imminent threat to the woman’s safety. He said a sniper fired a single shot that wounded the man and allowed the woman to flee. The man was taken to the hospital where he later died, he said.

Detroit police chief James Craig speaks during a news conference on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.

Police were dispatched to the 18600 block of Concord on Detroit’s east side at 12:12 p.m. Friday after receiving a 911 call reporting that a man with a gun had taken a woman hostage. 

The man was diagnosed four years ago with bipolar disorder, Craig said. The chief said the man hadn’t been taking his medication, which he said caused him to become upset. 

“He has a history of violence; sexual assault and felonious assault,” the chief said.

Friday’s incident is the 28th barricaded gunman situation Detroit police have responded to this year, Craig said. “At least half involve someone with mental illness,” he said.

He said more effort needs to be put into mental health treatment.

“This has been an ongoing conversation,” the chief said. “It’s broken everywhere. What are we waiting on, another tragedy to happen? When there is a tragedy, we talk about it for maybe two weeks and then we go on with our lives. Enough is enough.”