DETROIT (WWJ) – Authorities say a DTE Energy employee is recovering after being shot while working on the city’s east side.
The incident happened early Saturday morning while the employee was performing storm-related activities in the area of Van Dyke and Marcus, in a neighborhood just north of I-94.
Sometime between 5 and 5:50 a.m., the gunman knocked on the passenger window of the employee’s vehicle, according to DTE Energy officials. When the employee saw the weapon, he immediately started to drive away but was hit in the thumb by gunfire. He then drove himself to an area hospital for treatment.
“While we don’t know that he was targeted, his marked DTE vehicle was approached by somebody who had a gun. This type of behavior just cannot continue,” Trevor Lauer, senior vice president of DTE distribution operations, said live on WWJ Newsradio 950.
Lauer said they will not tolerate violence or any threat of violence.
“Our employees are out trying to provide great service to our customers, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week,” he said. “It’s really disappointing to see this behavior out of the public.”
The shooting is the lasets incident in recent months where DTE Energy workers have been victimized in Detroit. In June, three separate crews were robbed at gunpoint while tending to storm-related repairs.
Safety is one of their top priorities, said Lauer, and DTE Energy is doing everything they can to make sure other employees stay safe.
“We’re working very closely with the Detroit Police Department on this particular situation, but DTE Energy also provides security forces for our employees when they’re in areas that we would consider hot zones, where there’s an unusually large amount of criminal activity going on,” said Lauer. “And we also encourage any of our employees that if they go to an area where they feel unsafe, they should immediately leave that area and contact DTE Energy and we will provide backup for them.”
DTE Energy is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assailant. Assaulting a utility worker is an enhanced felony in Michigan and can result in additional prison time.
A description of the gunman was not immediately released.
Anyone with information is urged to contact DTE Energy at 313-235-9113, or Detroit police at 313-267-4600.