The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is leading an investigation into the shooting death of Livonia police officer Larry Nehasil.

“There’s lots of questions. This will be a long, extensive investigation.  It’s very sad. It’s very tragic.  This officer was doing his job,” Under Sheriff Mike McCabe told Newsradio 950.

David Bowling (Wayne Co. Sheriff's Department photo)

Officer Nehasil was tracking a string of home invasions with an undercover team in the Maple-Glenwood area in Walled Lake when he was shot and killed Monday evening.

WWJ spoke live Tuesday with Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey who said the gunman, 44-year old David Bowling, and his brother, 48-year-old Terry Bowling, had visited Walled Lake from Detroit to look into renting a home.

On their way out, they noticed a neighboring homeowner leaving, and seized the opportunity.

“They decided that they would burglarize that house, but did not realize that out officers were doing a surveillance of them at that point in time. So, the officers watched them break and enter the house,” Kirksey said.

He said the brothers backed up the car to load up the stolen items, and that’s when they caught sight of the officers.

Under Sheriff McCabe said the .45 caliber handgun used in the shooting was stolen from the home. 

“Generally, in my thirty-four years in this job, B and E [breaking and entering] boys don’t carry guns. That was the case here, until he got that gun in the B and E,” he said.

McCabe said gunfire erupted after the younger Bowling ran out of the home and tried to jump a backyard fence — and that’s when Nehasil was shot and killed.

David Bowling was also fatally shot.  Terry Bowling is in police custody.

McCabe tells WWJ David Bowling had a laundry list of convictions, dating back to 1986, including armed robbery and assault with intent to do great bodily in Westland, as well as domestic violence in Roseville.  He was on probation out  at the time of the shooting Monday night.

“He’s definitely a career criminal. There’s no doubt about that.  I don’t think the word ‘rehabilitation’ would be in his vocabulary,” McCabe said. 

McCabe said Terry Bowling also has multiple past convictions including breaking and entering, armed robbery, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. He is currently awaiting arraignment in this case.

Meantime, Nehasil, who was married with two children, is being remembered by colleagues as hard working and willing to take on the tough assignments.

Before joining the Livonia Police, Nehasil worked for the Wayne County Sheriff.

“My heart goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of this dedicated public servant,” Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said in an e-mail message.

“He stood in the gap to protect others from harm and for that Officer Nehasil will always be remembered as a hero.”

Kirksey said he knew Nehasil and called him a friend. 
“A situation like this, it just tears you apart,” Kirksey said, adding there is very little to do except to comfort the family as much as possible.  “It hits home in such a severe way.” 

A Facebook page has been made in memory of Nehasil.  Click here to go to the page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.