A Taylor Police officer caught in a shootout in the parking lot of a Taylor townhouse complex has died and another man remains hospitalized, police confirmed.
Taylor Police Lt. Mary Sclabassi confirmed the officer died from wounds suffered in a hail of gunfire around 6 a.m. today at Coppertree Townhomes on Pine Street near Northline and Telegraph roads. She said police weren’t immediately identifying the officer while they notified relatives.
Police said they would release more information about the incident before 11 a.m. today.
Lt. John Blair said the officer is the first Taylor officer to be killed in the line of duty. He described the officer as a veteran of the force.
“We lost a real good guy today,” Blair said. “It’s a rough day. There are a lot of long faces around here.”
Blair said the other man in the shooting was at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, but his condition wasn’t known.
Neighbors said the cop and another man traded gunshots, perhaps more than a dozen, though Taylor Police were not commenting on details of the incident this morning.
Several neighbors said the gunshots startled them awake around 6 a.m. Neighbors including Lakesha Campbell, 23, said they saw one young man injured, handcuffed and taken away on a stretcher while another neighbor, Jerome Wadsworth, 21, said he saw an injured police officer put into an ambulance and taken from the shooting scene.
“I saw the police officer laying on the ground by his squad car” in the parking lot of the Pine Street complex, said resident Valdez Green, 20. “He was laying out there for about five minutes before backup arrived.”
There was no immediate word on the condition of the other man. Michigan State Police and officers from Allen Park and Romulus were assisting Taylor Police at the scene.
It’s the same Taylor townhouse complex where two men killed 38-year-old mother Wendy Meinke in summer 2006. Both men, Jujuan Willis and Michael Johnson, are serving time in prison.
By MATT HELMS
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITE
Source: Detroit Free Press