(CBS DETROIT) – The Detroit Police Department held a press conference Thursday in regards to the fatal shooting of Officer Loren Courts.
Police say Courts, 40, was shot and killed Wednesday night while responding to a call on Detroit’s west side. The shooting happened within minutes of the officer arriving at the scene in the area of Joy and Marlow.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Pistons’ Rob Murphy on Helping His Hometown
The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Ehamani Mack Davis, also died in the shooting.
Police say Davis used a Draco pistol in the shooting. Police Chief James White says the gun was recently purchased but police are investigating whether it was purchased legally.
White called the shooting “unacceptable.”
“We were robbed of one of our heroes,” White said, adding that Courts was a husband and father of two children.
His father recently retired from the department.
White said, “To his family, words cannot say what I need to say. I don’t have words … Yesterday was simply the worst day of this family’s life. We will never forget him, his service to this community and we will continue to enforce the law in his honor and others like him.”
The police chief demanded change, adding that the issue “is all of our problems.” He also called for courts and lawmakers to step up.
“The lawmakers need to support them. The courts: open up, have trials, hold people accountable,” he said. “These assault weapons are ridiculous in our communities and they’re causing death.”
Watch the full news conference below:
Chain of events
- 7:30 p.m. – Authorities received reports of shots fired in the area.
- 7:32 p.m. – Officers from the 2nd Precinct, including Courts and his partner, Officer Amanda Hudgens, were dispatched to the location.
- 7:39 p.m. – Two scout cars with four officers arrive on the scene
- 7:40 p.m. – Fallen Officer Courts was shot
- 7:40 p.m. – Two additional scout cars with four more officers arrive
- 7:41 p.m. – Suspected gunman walks out of building with a weapon
- 7:41 p.m. – Four responding officers fired shots striking the suspect multiple times. The suspect was shot and killed.
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Police say Davis was shooting from inside the building, blowing out a window.
White says the officers were “ambushed” and Courts was still in the vehicle when he was shot. He attempted to gain cover but collapsed on the ground, prompting his partner officer Amanda Hudgens to administer aid.
“She made a choice that many people in the same circumstances would say they would make. He’s advancing toward her with the Draco. She glances back, braces herself, and continues applying pressure,” White said. “Thankfully, there was another officer who stopped the threat.”
White called Hudgens a “hero.”
Police confirmed that on June 21, a warrant for assault with intent to murder was submitted for Davis to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.
State and local officials react
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:
“Michigan is heartbroken by the loss of Officer Loren Courts. Officer Courts was a dedicated public servant and proud Detroiter. He loved his job and put on his uniform every day to keep his community safe. Yesterday, he made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Officer Courts was a second-generation Detroit police officer. He followed in his father’s footsteps and was a hero to all those who knew him, especially his wife and kids.
“Our hearts go out to Officer Courts’ family, friends, and fellow officers through this difficult time. We will continue backing up law enforcement not only with our words, but with our actions. Together, we can keep them safe on the job and protect public safety.”
Attorney General Dana Nessel:
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Officer Loren Courts and the entire Detroit Police Department in the wake of this tragedy, especially his wife and two children. May we honor and remember him as a hero and recognize the sacrifice those in law enforcement make on a daily basis to protect our communities.”
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy:
“I along with so many others are mourning the senseless death of Detroit police officer Loren Counts. My condolences go out to his wife Kristine Court, his two children, family members and his fellow officers.
“This time a law enforcement officer was killed with an assault rifle. We constantly speak out about the levels of gun violence throughout our nation. It is unacceptable. Every resource imaginable needs to be provided to keep all of us safe – especially our children and the brave men and women in law enforcement that risk their lives every day in the face of escalating violence.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan:
“The senseless violence ravaging our country has hit far too close to home tonight. We owe a debt of gratitude to our fallen officer, a debt that we can never repay. He gave his life to serve his city and keep his fellow Detroiters safe. Our entire city is holding his family in our hearts tonight and will be with them every step of the way in the difficult days ahead.”
Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield:
“While responding to a call Wednesday night, Detroit Police Officer Loren Courts was met with open fire and was shot and killed. The news of Officer Courts’ tragic and untimely death is shattering for the Courts family as he leaves behind a wife of 11 years, two children, and close immediate family. My heart breaks for them as they navigate this unimaginable loss.
“Officer Courts made the ultimate sacrifice for the city he set out to protect and serve, and we all are humbled by his bravery and heroism. Officer Courts, a legacy member of the Detroit Police Department and 5-year veteran on the force, will be terribly missed by his fellow officers and the entire City of Detroit. At the appropriate time, we will formally honor his life and service to the resident of Detroit.
“May God bless Officer Loren Courts’ soul and his family and friends in their time of grief and need.”
Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem James Tate:
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“City of Detroit and the entire state of Michigan mourns today with the family and friends of Detroit Police Officer Loren Court after a tragic shooting on Detroit’s westside while in the line of duty.
“Our thoughts go out to the Detroit Police Department, the loved ones of the fallen officer, and the entire community that has been impacted by this devastating act of violence.
“We are all still reeling from the tragedies of gun violence throughout the city and the nation, and now one of our own, yet another.
“We must work together to take commonsense action. For our families and communities, there is much work to do and I will continue the push to reduce gun violence and save lives here in the city of Detroit.”
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