DETROIT (WWJ) – Two Detroit Police officers are lucky to have their lives after being involved in a shootout while investigating narcotics activity in the same neighborhood where Wayne State University Police Sergeant Collin Rose was shot to death.
“Two of Detroit’s finest are in the hospital recovering from injuries from a gun battle,” Police Chief James Craig said live on WWJ Newsradio Thursday morning. “We’re absolutely certain we have the suspect responsible in custody. …During the gun battle he (also) sustained injury and he’s being treated at a local hospital.”
The shooting happened around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Tillman and Ash.
“Our officers have been working in this area investigating the Collin Rose shooting for some time. They were also in the area investigating other criminal activity that had been going on in hopes of learning about information on this shooting,” said Craig.
That’s when officers noticed the suspect — later identified as as 60-year-old Raymond Durham.
“He was engaging in behaviors that drew their attention to him in an area where narcotics had been sold,” said Craig. “They initiated a lawful detention and it was during that stop that things began to take a bad turn.”
The suspect pulled out a gun and began firing, striking both officers. One was shot in the neck; the other officer was shot in the ankle, and body armor stopped two bullets to the chest.
As the officers were rushed to the hospital, a manhunt was launched for Durham. He was finally taken into custody about three hours later when he was found hiding in some weeds. A firearm was also recovered.
Craig stopped short of saying if the suspect is connected to Rose’s murder, but he said they weren’t ruling it out, either.
“There’s some aspects of what occurred last night that could connect this suspect to the Collin Rose shooting,” he said. “We’ve made a number of arrests, a number of stops since November following the tragic death of Collin Rose, so that wasn’t necessarily the specific purpose, but this was an armed and dangerous suspect that our officers encountered last night.”
Craig said he will not be releasing the names of the officers involved.
Formal charges again Durham are pending. Thursday afternoon, Wayne County prosecutors said they were reviewing a warrant request.
Rose’s murder remains unsolved. The 29-year-old was shot in the head while attempting to stop a man near Wayne State’s campus in November. The five-year veteran of the department, who worked in the canine unit, had just radioed to say he was investigating possible thefts of navigation systems from cars and SUVs, and was about to speak to someone apparently on a bike, Craig told WWJ soon after the shooting. A cash reward is up to $52,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect in the case.