Man Accused Of Killing Detroit Police Sergeant Refuses To Come Out Of Cell, Arraigned On Murder Charges Anyway

DETROIT (WWJ) – The suspect accused of shooting a Detroit Police Sergeant has been formally charged with murder.

Marquise Cromer, 21, refused to come out of his jail cell Wednesday morning for the arraignment, but the case went on without him and he was formally arraigned on charges of first first-degree murder and murder of a peace officer.

The charges were upgraded after Sgt. Kenneth Steil, a 17-year veteran of the department, died over the weekend. Cromer was set to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday, but was too combative to appear in court.

Police say Steil, on Sept. 12, was chasing Cromer — a suspected carjacker — on foot outside a gas station on the city’s east side when Cromer fired at Steil with a sawed off shotgun.

Following the shooting, Police Chief James Craig said Steil was expected to be OK. The recovering sergeant was talking about returning to the force when he died suddenly from complications, reportedly a blood clot, shortly before he was supposed to be released from the hospital.

The 46-year-old is the first police officer to die in the line of duty in Detroit since Craig took over in 2013.

Cromer was previously charged with the following in connection with the incident: one count of assault with intent to murder; one count of resisting and obstructing police officer causing serious impairment; three counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer; one count of possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and felony firearm.

Cromer is also charged with assault, accused of shooting his father in foot (the day before he allegedly shot Steil) as the older man sat at the dining room table at their home on Dickerson, near Jefferson Ave., in Detroit. Prosecutors say he also threatened his stepmother at gunpoint. A probable cause conference is taking place Wednesday.

Police have said Cromer suffers from depression and had not been taking his <medication.

Steil, a member of the department’s underwater recovery team, leaves behind a wife and two children. Funeral services will be held Friday.

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