Bodycam Shows Violent Confrontation Between Mich. Police, Gunman

April 16, 2024
An 18-year-old suspect suffering a mental crisis and brandishing a handgun chased Warren police around a residential yard before he was fatally shot by officers.

By Mitch Hotts

Source The Macomb Daily, Mount Clemens, Mich.

A mental health issue and easy access to firearms are suspected of being what led an armed teenager to confront Warren police officers outside of his family's home before he was fatally shot, authorities said Monday.

The 18-year-old suspect, whose name was withheld at his family's request, chased officers around his front yard brandishing a gun before he was struck down by a volley of shots fired by police on Friday afternoon.

Police officials on Monday released bodycam video footage of the incident. Seven seconds had passed between the first and final shots were fired, police said.

"This tragedy was caused by one reason," Police Commissioner Charles Rushton told reporters. "This individual had access to a firearms. If he didn't have access, this incident probably would not have occurred."

According to Lt. John Gajewski, officers were dispatched a home on Garbor Drive, in the area of 11 Mile and Ryan roads, about 1:45 p.m. to respond to a domestic violence complaint involving five family members.

One of the suspect's brothers who called 911 said his brother was "going crazy," pushing and shoving his siblings. The suspect hadn't slept in four days, the caller added.

According to the bodycam footage, when officers arrived, they knocked on the front door and received no response. As they moved towards the rear of the home, the garage door opened and the suspect can be seen coming out a side door armed with a gun in his hand.

As officers retreated and yelled "gun, gun, gun," the armed teenager ran after them around the home, according to the footage. He appeared to be pointing his weapon at the officers, who fired a burst of gunfire as the teen crumbled to the ground and began to moan.

Police removed a 9mm Glock handgun from the suspect's reach and handcuffed him in order to search him for additional weapons. Warren officers fired 11 shots, three of which struck the suspect.

Officers immediately began rendering aid and CPR to the suspect. Warren firefighters arrived and transported the teen to an area hospital, where he was pronounced deceased, Rushton said.

No officers were injured, police said.

The two police officers who fired the shots were placed on administrative leave Friday, as required by Warren police department policy, Rushton said.

Police commissioner says 'we probably will never know' why teen had gun

Rushton said he suspected the teen had a mental health crisis, which led to the incident. An autopsy conducted Saturday showed no signs of drug use, he added.

"We probably will never know," the commissioner told reporters in response to a question over what a motive could have been. "We don't know what was going on his head."

The teen had legally purchased the gun from a private individual. In Michigan, individuals must be 18 to own a weapon, but if they purchase one from a federal firearms dealer, they must be 21, police said.

His family was not aware he had a weapon in the house, according to police, and did not know why he had one.

He was attending an online college program, according to police Other than a few traffic offenses, he had no other known contacts with the Warren Police Department.

The family has requested privacy from the media. They met with police officials for about one hour prior to Monday's press conference to view the bodycam footage.

The family is from Bangladesh and speak Bengali and broken English.

A Bengali man who attended the police press conference told reporters afterward that he wanted to understand what had happened at the Garbor Drive home. He wondered if a language barrier may have played a role in the tragedy.

"This is very sad for the community," Shabbir Khan, 42, said. "(The teen) was a very young man."

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(c)2024 The Macomb Daily, Mount Clemens, Mich.

Visit The Macomb Daily, Mount Clemens, Mich. at https://www.macombdaily.com/

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The entire encounter took seven seconds.

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