Tom Greenwood and Mike Martindale / The Detroit News
Livonia — Funeral arrangements have been made for Livonia Police Officer Larry Nehasil, who was killed in a shootout Monday night in Walled Lake. A public viewing will be from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and noon-8 p.m. Thursday at Harry J. Will Funeral Home, 37000 Six Mile Road, in Livonia. A Mass is planned at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 47650 N. Territorial, in Plymouth.
The 20-year-veteran is survived by his wife, Linda, two sons, Adam and Aaron; his mother, Monica; two sisters, Cheryl (John) Farquhar and Lori (Curtis) Caid and a brother, Craig (Donna).
A memorial fund for his family has been set up and donations can be made at any Huntington area bank branch.
Meanwhile, court records show the two Detroit brothers accused in the deadly shootout that took Nehasil’s life have extensive criminal records for armed robbery, assault and break-ins that date back 30 years.
Nehasil, 48, was shot five times at close range Monday night when attempting to chase down and arrest David Matthew Bowling, 44, in the backyard of a Walled Lake home after a home invasion at Maple and Glenwood in Walled Lake. David Bowling, shot twice by Nehasil, was also dead at the scene.
Nehasil was part of a six-man undercover police surveillance crew — all Livonia officers — who were investigating a rash of home invasions in that city linked to the brothers, according to Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey and Livonia police. The men were trailed by surveillance crews and followed into Walled Lake.
Kirksey said the brothers had been evicted from a Detroit address and were looking for an apartment to rent in Walled Lake. One of the brothers had worked in the city and was familiar with the area.
“The preliminary investigation is the brothers were driving down Maple about 5:30 p.m. when they saw the homeowners on Glenwood leaving their driveway and apparently saw an opportunity,” said Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe, whose department is investigating the shooting.
“They (suspects) circled around and came back and one man got out and went to the back of the house where he must have broken in. The driver left the area briefly but returned, apparently after he was called and told the suspect was ready to load up.”
Bowling’s older brother, confirmed by police as Terry Neil Bowling, 48, drove into the driveway where David Bowling intended to load stolen items into the vehicle, according to police sources. But Livonia police pulled up, prompting David Bowling to run through the garage and into the backyard. That’s where Nehasil gave chase and several gunshots were heard by officers and area residents. Other police had boxed in the getaway car and arrested Terry Bowling.
In the backyard, officers found Nehasil and David Bowling, both lying in the snow near a fence. It is believed Bowling was attempting to scale the fence when the pair exchanged gunfire at close range — Bowling using a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun he had just stolen minutes earlier from the home, police said.
While wearing a bulletproof vest that stopped at least one slug, Nehasil was fatally wounded in areas not protected by the vest, including the head, an autopsy determined Tuesday.
Terry Bowling remains in the Oakland County Jail and is expected to be charged sometime Wednesday, authorities said.
“It’s a tragic death and we feel for the officer and his family,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.
Court records reveal Terry Bowling was discharged from parole in November 2009 for a 2009 driving while license suspended in Livonia. His lengthy criminal history includes 2007 convictions for uttering and publishing in Livonia and Oakland County; receiving and concealing stolen property in Westland in 1999; a 1999 armed robbery in Romulus; driving while license suspended in Warren in 1996; delivery of heroin and being a habitual offender in Westland in 1994; breaking and entering of a coin-operated machine and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Roseville in 1989; the break-in of a car in Eastpointe that same year and larceny from a home; malicious destruction of property in 1985 in Westland and discharge of a firearm and resisting a police officer.
David Bowling was on probation for conviction last year for felonious operation of a vehicle causing serious injury out of Detroit. He had an extensive criminal history, including 2006 domestic violence conviction out of Roseville; 1987 felonious assault to do great bodily harm in Livonia; 1986 armed robbery and unarmed robbery in Westland.
According to Kirksey, police have also arrested a female — believed to be a former resident of Livonia — whom they believe worked as a fence for the two suspected burglars. She wasn’t at the scene of the break-in and shooting, Kirksey said.
“The surveillance unit came close to arresting the two male suspects a number of times, but it never occurred for one reason or another,” Kirksey said. “They had done some home invasions in Livonia, so that’s how we became aware of them.”
In a touch of coincidence, Kirksey said today he believed Nehasil had been one of his students when he had been principal of Grant Elementary School in Livonia.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy released a statement today, saying: “Our prayers go out to the family of Officer Larry Nehasil and the entire Livonia Police Department. We are particularly saddened because our investigative staff includes several officers who worked with Officer Nehasil for many years.”
News of the deaths also shocked neighbors in the quiet cul-de-sac of spacious homes on Monday.
Roads to the subdivision were blocked for hours as Walled Lake Police and investigators from the county Sheriff’s Office preserved the scene and collected evidence.
One Glenwood neighbor said the neighborhood was safe.
Meanwhile, the incident sparked an outpouring of support Monday night and today on social networking sites.
Facebook was filled with expressions of condolences from residents and other police departments.
“Our prayers are pointed at Livonia and the gunned down officer,” Larry Cromer, CEO and founder of LolaMax Management wrote in a posting. “Thank you for your service Larry Nehasil. May God have a place prepared for you.”
Livonia Police Chief Robert Stevenson described Nehasil’s killing as the first felonious death of an officer in the history of the department. Nehasil is also the first police officer to die in the line of duty in Oakland County since December 2008, when Oak Park Police Officer Mason Samborski, 28, was fatally shot while attempting to subdue a teenager stopped for driving without a license. Jonathon Belton, 18, of Detroit was sentenced to life in prison last month for Samborski’s slaying.
Val Olander contributed to this report. firstname.lastname@example.org