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Michigan Officer Killed in Early Morning Shootout

Michigan Officer Killed in Early Morning Shootout

Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix

July 23, 2010

TAYLOR, MI – 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 identified the officer as 31-year-old Matthew Edwards, who leaves behind a wife and two children.

Edwards was responding to a report of a nearby breaking and entering when he encountered a male suspect, who opened fire, police said. The officer, fatally wounded, returned fire and struck the suspect, who is now in Oakwood Hospital.

Lt. John Blair said Edwards is the first Taylor officer ever 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.

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