A 60-year-old Detroit man is accused of “aggressively trying to kill” two Detroit police officers and is under investigation for the previous murder of a campus officer, according to the city’s chief.
Police arrested Raymond Durham after a manhunt that lasted several hours.
Police said they were investigating any potential link between Durham and the murder of Wayne State Police Sgt. Collin Rose last fall.
“We’re not prepared to say there’s a connection between this suspect and the Collin Rose case but we’re investigating to look for a link,” the police chief said, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The police officers were shot the evening of March 15, although police said they are expected to recover. News sites varied on the spelling of Durham’s name; MLive gave his name as “Raymon Durham.” However, police identified him as Raymond Durham.
Detroit police said they recovered a weapon.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Two Police Officers Were Shot on the City’s West Side & One Officer’s Vest Stopped a Bullet
According to WNEM-TV, “one officer was shot in the chest, but his vest stopped the bullet. The other officer was shot in the leg.”
WXYZ reported that police said the officers were 20 and four year veterans of the force who “approached the suspect outside of a known narcotics location.”
The chief said “the man pulled out a gun and fired shots at the officers” and one officer was shot in the ankle and vest and the other in the neck.
A gun battle ignited, and Durham was also shot. All are expected to recover. According to The Detroit News, police first encountered an agitated Durham walking in the road.
2. Durham Is Being Investigated in the Rose Murder, Police Say, but He Didn’t Confess
Rose, the Wayne State police officer, was shot and killed in November by a man on a mountain bike. His slaying is unsolved.
According to WXYZ, the double shooting on March 15 “occurred in the area where Wayne State Police Sgt. Collin Rose was shot.” Police previously released video footage of the suspect in the Rose slaying.
Here’s the video:
The chief said Durham had not confessed to the Rose homicide. However, he said the method of attack and suspect description in the Rose case was similar to the recent shootings, reported The Detroit Free Press.
The same model of gun was used in the shootings, and ballistics tests are underway, according to Fox 2.
A suspect description was widely broadcast in the Detroit news media in the hours before Durham was caught:
“A helicopter hovered above as police frantically searched for a suspect,” reported MLive.
The officers drove themselves to the hospital, according to The Detroit Free Press.
“Chief James Craig said the officers were on special operations in a semi-marked police car, wearing body armor,” the newspaper reported.
3. The Motive for the Double Shooting is not Clear but Police Say They Believe Durham Wanted to Kill More Police Officers
The double shooting occurred at Tillman and Ash, “near I-96 and Martin Luther King, on the city’s west side,” reported WXYZ. According to The Detroit Free Press, police said “the two officers were investigating narcotics-related shootings when they encountered an ‘agitated’ and ‘very violent’ man on a street.”
The Detroit News reported that Durham was discovered several blocks from the shooting and police believe he was planning to lodge a second attack against officers. Durham was lying down when discovered and still carrying the firearm, the newspaper reported.
Police had not released many details about the person of interest or the shooting, which had just unfolded (this article will be updated as more details are known). One news report described Durham as homeless.
“One of the officers was shot in the ankle but he was also shot twice in the upper torso but he was wearing protective body armor and we believe that saved his life,” the police chief said, according to Fox 2 Detroit. “The second officer was shot in the neck. The early diagnosis is he is going to be okay but we are just not certain.”
4. Durham Has a History of Breaking & Entering & Mental Health Issues
The Detroit Free Press reported that Durham does not have a violent criminal history, but he does have breaking and entering crimes on his record dating back to 1990. He was “also ordered treatment at a mental clinic in both cases,” the newspaper reported.
The manhunt for Durham was a massive one in the March 15 double shootings.
According to USA Today, “Officers with long guns drawn and wearing heavy gear searched a neighborhood near 23rd and Ash, shining flashlights into the burned-out rubble of homes and taking a police dog. Ash was closed off.”
Police described Durham as “armed and dangerous.”
Neighbors told Fox 2 that Durham had mental health issues but were surprised by the accusations. He came into a local gas station the night of the shooting for two cheeseburgers, the television station reported.
5. Shootings of Police Officers Have Been a National Concern
Shootings of police officers in America have become an increasing concern since the ambush assassinations of police officers last year in Dallas, Texas and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
It is not yet clear whether the double shooting in Detroit bears any nexus to that sort of motive, though. However, the Detroit police chief said the double shooting in that city was unprovoked and the motive unclear; the officers had approached to ask the suspect about an increase in non-fatal shootings in the area, according to Click on Detroit.
At least 125 American police officers died in the line of duty in 2016, police said.