A Taylor police officer is dead following a shooting early Friday. Described as a “veteran of the department,” 31-year old Cpl. Matthew Edwards was killed in the line of duty while responding to a home invasion call at the Coppertree Town Home complex on Pine Street.
When officers arrived at the apartment, they said they noticed a man attempting to jump through a window, Commander Daniel Crowell said.
Speaking to reporters, Crowell described what happened next.
“Witnesses told police that officer Edwards was speaking with the defendant when they saw the defendant pull a gun and shoot officer Edwards,” Crowell said. “Officer Edward’s partner returned fire, shooting the defendant several times,” he said.
Both Edwards and the suspect were taken to Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn where Edwards was pronounced dead shortly after 6 a.m.
Crowell would not name the suspect, who was undergoing surgery Friday afternoon.
“Officer Edwards made the ultimate sacrifice. Something we all take for granted sometimes. Please pray for Officer Edwards family in the coming days and weeks and please pray for the Taylor police department,” said Crowell.
On the force since January of 2005, Edwards was a decorated officer, named Officer of the Year in 2008 by the Police Officers Associated of Michigan.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
“It’s a rough day. A lot of long faces around here,” said Taylor police Lt. John Blair, adding that the fatal shooting is the first in the department’s history. “We’ve escaped it to this point.”
The Michigan State Police and officers from Taylor cordoned off stretches of the Coppertree apartment complex Friday morning as an investigation into the shooting got under way.
Yellow police tape was affixed to trees throughout the complex and investigators went door-to-door to ask residents what they knew about the incident.
Arthur White, 38, said his 18-year-old son was awakened by what he thought were fireworks, but later learned was gunfire. White said the complex is in a rough area where drugs and teenage delinquency are common.
“A lot of activity here,” he said. “Drugs. Teenagers walking around.”
White said a woman was fatally shot two days after he moved into Coppertree several years ago.
Wendy Meinke was killed in 2007 during a dispute involving her son and others at an apartment complex in Taylor. Police at the time said she tried to intervene and two people shot in her direction.
Two men are serving prison time for their role in the killing.
Other residents said there was a stabbing at the complex just a few weeks ago.
© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved The Associated Press contributed to this report.