A Michigan college police officer was released from surgery and is fighting for his life after being shot in the head while on patrol near campus Tuesday night and a person of interest was arrested.
The Wayne State University officer was identified as 29-year-old Colin Rose, a five-year veteran of the department who works in the canine unit. Detroit Police Chief James Craig was on duty when he radioed to say he was investigating possible thefts of navigation systems from cars and SUVs, and was about to speak to someone apparently on a bike.
Officers who arrived on the scene found the officer injured on the ground, Craig said.
According to Fox 2 Detroit, DeAngelo Davis was named a person of interest in the shooting and was arrested but it wasn’t immediately clear whether he was the gunman.
The station reported that a $5,000 reward was being offered for the recovery of the gun used in the shooting. Deputy Detroit police Chief Steve Dolunt said the officer was not shot with his own gun.
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) November 23, 2016
A woman who witnessed the shooting told Fox 2 Detroit it happened while Rose was attempting to apprehend someone.
“The officer was trying to get him to put his arms behind his back.” the woman said. “And I’m assuming he didn’t want to and he just shot him. We heard one shot and we looked, and the officer was down.”
“It was boom, boom, boom,” Jacob Bolton, 20, who lives nearby, said in an interview later. “I heard some gunshots and I heard somebody hollering. But at first I thought I was dreaming.”
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(Fox 2 Detroit)
The university’s president, M. Roy Wilson, said Rose was recovering from surgery Tuesday night and that family members were with him but that he still had a tough road ahead of him.
“We just spoke to the surgeons and they just said he still was not totally out of the woods,” Wilson said.
Shortly after the shooting, which occurred around 6:30 p.m., several dozen armed officers were seen in the residential area of Woodbridge within two blocks of the campus in what law enforcement described as a massive manhunt.
Wilson said they still don’t know what the motive was for the shooting, “whether it was an ambush or something different.”
He cited four recent incidents around the country in which law enforcement officers were shot, adding, “That’s something that’s crossed our minds.”
Wayne State has more than 27,000 students and is located in the heart of Detroit. Wilson said the school employs around 65 officers, some of whom help patrol areas around the campus.
The shootings of police officers in Texas and Missouri on Sunday were the latest in what law enforcement officials say is an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks. A San Antonio detective was fatally shot, and a St. Louis officer was shot twice in the face but survived.
Police officers were also shot and injured during traffic stops in Sanibel, Florida, and Gladstone, Missouri, on Sunday night, but authorities have not suggested those were targeted attacks.
One-third of police officers shot to death on the job this year were purposely targeted by their assailant, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The Associated Press contributed this report.