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Officer Fatally Hit During Home Invasion Shootout

Officer Fatally Hit During Home Invasion Shootout

Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix

January 18, 2011

DETROIT – What started as a typical night in an upscale neighborhood in Walled Lake turned into the scene of a shootout Monday when an undercover police team tried to arrest two people under surveillance in a home invasion ring.

When the gunfire stopped, Livonia Police Officer Larry Nehasil and the suspect he was after were dead.

“Our family is devastated,” said Livonia Police Chief Robert Stevenson during a 10 p.m. news conference. “Larry was hardworking. Larry sought out the most dangerous assignments. Larry is going to be sorely missed.”

Nehasil, 48, married and the father of two, is the first officer killed in a violent felony in the department’s history, Stevenson said. He worked in the department’s intelligence bureau and had previously worked for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey said Nehasil had been working on a case for a couple weeks involving a gang of individuals who had been breaking into homes in the area, including in Livonia.

“It’s terrible, terrible tragic news,” Kirksey said. “I wish there were words we could say to express our sorrow.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation and were at the home on Glenwood, just south of Maple.

Police weren’t releasing many details –including the name of the suspect killed—but a law enforcement official who did not want his name used said he had heard what neighbors were also reporting: That police rammed a car driven by someone suspected of having just broken into a home on the 100 block of Glenwood.

A man got out of the car and ran off. Nehasil chased him.

Shots were fired and both men were killed. The second suspect was taken into custody, Stevenson said.

Neighbors in the subdivision were struggling with what happened.

David Abbott, who lives on Glenwood, was not home at the time of the incident, but said his wife, Cathy, heard five gunshots and saw two men running between houses about 5:20 p.m. Monday.

He expressed shock that the incident had happened in the normally quiet community.

“It’s a safe neighborhood. We get petty garage thefts from time to time, but nothing like this,” he said.

He added that he did not believe that the residents were home at the time of the incident.

A car that the suspects are believed to have been driving was still on the front lawn of a home across the street from where the suspected break-in occurred tonight.

Kathleen Diaz, who lives nearby, said: “It’s just bizarre. You just never know.”

Autopsies are expected to be performed Tuesday at the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office.

Joe Rossiter contributed to this report

The Livonia Police Department was reportedly doing surveillance of suspects in various home invasions.

Police followed the suspect to Walled Lake, about 10 miles north-northwest of Livonia, and where he and an accomplice were suspected of breaking into a home on the first block of Glenwood, just south of Maple.

A law enforcement official who did not want his name used said he had heard that police rammed the suspects’ car after they left the home, and that one of the men fled.

An officer chased him, and gunfire was exchanged.

Neighbors in the subdivision were grappling with what happened.

David Abbott, who lives on Glenwood, was not home at the time of the incident, but said his wife, Cathy, heard five gunshots and saw two men running between houses about 5:20 p.m. Monday.

He expressed shock that the incident had happened in the normally quiet community.“ It’s a safe neighborhood. We get petty garage thefts from time to time, but nothing like this,” he said.

He added that he did not believe that the residents were home at the time of the incident.

A car that the suspects are believed to have been driving was still on the front lawn of a home across the street from where the suspected break-in occurred Monday night.

Walled Lake police and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene. Police had the area of Glenwood and Maple blocked off.

Kathleen Diaz who lives nearby, said: “It’s just bizarre. You just never know.”


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