DETROIT (FOX 2) - On Monday, interim Detroit Police Chief James White gave more details on the fatal shooting of a suspect who they said pulled a gun and was subsequently shot and killed.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, White said the suspect vehicle crashed into an undercover officer and three of the four men ran off. A fourth man, however, pulled a 9mm and White said he refused to drop the weapon before he was shot by the officers in the car.
White spoke on Monday about the early morning fatal shooting of the suspect and said the officers were working undercover when they were hit by the car. According to White, an initiative within the department is to break up street racing and drifting within the city of Detroit and there were undercover officers who were in the area of East Grand and Trumbull around midnight.
White explained the process of how undercover officers are able to get inside the street racing events and said the officers were monitoring the intersection and recognized a crowd was starting to form.
"When those groups start to congregate, they develop a pit where they start the process of drag racing or drifting," White said.
The chief said when that happens, it's more likely and possible that the drivers could lose control and hit people watching them.
White said the undercover officers were sitting in the pit as if they are spectators and then a blue Dodge Charger came the wrong way down a one-way street. He said the car did several donuts with 3 of the 4 men hanging out of the car.
Suddenly, the car lost control and hit the driver's side of the undercover officer. White stressed that officers were not targeted and had not been exposed by the racers.
When the blue Charger hit the officer's car, also a Charger, it initiated the siren inside the undercover unit. That's when everyone in the area took off.
The undercover officer was trapped inside the car and began to kick his way out. At the same time, one of the passengers in the car got out and reached for a weapon.
The officer ordered him to drop it but the suspect refused. White said he believed his life was in danger and shot him. The man was able to run for a few steps but later collapsed and was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
White said the weapon the suspect pulled was a 9mm. He also said the Charger had been stolen out of Dearborn.
White said both officers involved were placed on leave, per department policy, and offered condolences to the man's family.