DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Investigators are looking into an incident involving an off-duty Detroit police officer at a party early Sunday morning.
Police said the officer was hosting the gathering at his home on Archdale near Southfield Freeway when his weapon discharged, hitting a 24-year-old woman.
Witnesses said that, while dancing, Adaisha Miller embraced the Officer Issac Parrish from behind, and his holstered weapon fired.
The bullet punctured Miller’s lung and hit her heart. She died at an area hospital a short time later.
Talking to reporters on Monday, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee called it an accident.
He said it was not impossible for the trigger to have been somehow engaged in this flexible off-duty holster.
“It is a very soft, neoprene type of material and the trigger protection on it … it was possible still for the trigger to be manipulated with that type of holster,” Godbee said.
Godbee said Parrish is “very remorseful,” but he didn’t pull the trigger.
Police union lawyer John Goldpaugh said the Parrish didn’t know Miller. He called the shooting “a freak accident.”
The young woman’s mother, Yolanda McNair, said she can’t figure out why the officer brought his gun to the party.
“She didn’t have to die,” McNair said. “All he had to do was do what he was supposed to do, and be fair.”
McNair said her daughter was about to turn 25 on Monday.
“All she wanted to do was enjoy the weekend for her birthday,” the mother said. “She had every right to enjoy turning 25 and look beyond that.”
Speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950. Detroit police officer David Mahalab said being a Detroit cop is “the most dangerous job in the city.” He said he feels that officers should be carrying a loaded gun at all times — even off-duty.
“No police officer would carry his gun without one in the chamber. You always have your gun ready for use and a round in the chamber — it’s always charged to use,” Mahalab said.
On the other hand, Mahalab said it’s difficult to imagine an officer’s weapon firing because of a simple hug.
Parrish has been assigned to administrative duties as the investigation continues.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)