Four Officers Shot in Gunman's Horrifying Attack
Detroit police stand outside the 6th Precinct building after a shooting. [Carlos Osorio / AP]
Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix
January 24, 2011
DETROIT – It was just before 4:30 p.m. Sunday when the gunman walked into the police station.
Sgt. Carrie Schulz was shot first. Cmdr. Brian Davis raced out of an office and exchanged fire with the gunman. Davis took a bullet in the back.
Then the gunman rushed the horseshoe-shaped front desk with his weapon drawn. Sgt. Ray Saati and Officer David Anderson were hit before police killed the 38-year-old shooter.
That’s how terror unfolded in the Detroit Police Department’sNorthwestern District, according to interviews with police sources.
All of the officers are expected to recover, according to Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr., but the incident has raised concern about security in the city’s many community police precincts and districts.
The four officers wounded Sunday were taken to Sinai-Grace Hospital, where hundreds of other officers came to support them. Mayor Dave Bing also was there, meeting with the shooting victims, spokesman Dan Lijana said.
Godbee did not release the names of those shot, but the Free Press obtained them from sources, including people who worked inside the building.
Davis underwent surgery for his wound and was in critical condition, but Godbee said his prognosis is very good.
Schulz was hit in the chest, but her bulletproof vest protected her. She was treated and released, Godbee said. On her Facebook page Sunday night, Schulz posted this partial status update: “Leave it to say bullet proof vests really do work! I am REALLY sore and have a few holes in the clothes but luckily no holes in me.”
Anderson had a graze wound on his head and was in temporary serious condition Sunday night. He was alert and talking, but will be kept in the hospital for observation, Godbee said.
Saati also had a graze on his head and was hospitalized alert and talking.
Godbee said police have identified the shooter, but would not release his name.
Sgt. Todd Eby, who was in the station when the shooting erupted, called it “absolutely horrifying.” He was sitting at his desk in the back of the building when he heard the shots. He said the attack was unprovoked.
Officers took cover and returned fire, Godbee said.
“They did all the things that we train them to do under pressure,” he said.
Sunday’s shooting was not the first time a gunman has attacked Detroit police on their own turf.
According to a Free Press story from May 1998, Marvin Terry walked into the 9th (Gratiot) Precinct with a sawed-off rifle and automatic handgun and fired at least six rounds.
Terry, 25, was hit by numerous shots from officers returning fire. He was on life support and died later that year. No officers were injured.
On Sunday night, a Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services truck was parked outside the police station, along with a DPD crime scene services van.
Security at the precincts will be reviewed, Godbee said.
The station has access via a revolving door and two traditional glass doors. There is no bulletproof glass or metal detectors, according to an employee in the building.
Retired Police Sgt. David Malhalab said he hadn’t been in the building in a couple of years, but said the front desk “was always a concern, from Day 1.”
He said officers sit below the high desk and can’t see if someone has something in his or her hands when they come in.
Security changes are being looked at, and changes may be made in how members of the public are screened before they come in, Godbee said.
“It’s possible, more than likely, that we will be changing a number of things relative to standard operating procedures,” Godbee said.
“We owe it to our officers to take a look at security procedures at all of our facilities.”
Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh said the shooting underscores the vulnerability of police officers and the urgency of improving security at precincts.
“This really makes me angry because it’s so unnecessary,” Pugh said. “It’s outrageous that officers who protect our city every day are victimized like this.”