Family of suspected shooter of Detroit police officers say he is mentally ill

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Shooting suspect Raymond Durham

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he's confident they've got the right guy in custody and now we are learning more about the suspected shooter of two officers Wednesday night, Raymond Durham.

Both officers are in stable condition after the incident, which happened at 8:15 in the area of Tillman and Ash on Detroit’s west side near I-96 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

"The suspect was very violent, clearly he was aggressively trying to kill our officers," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

It's that suspect 60-year-old Raymond Durham who has those who know him and love him, in complete disbelief Thursday.

"Raymond was the last person on my mind that I would have thought did it," said a neighbor. "Because he's not like that," said a neighbor.

Police say Durham been walking near Ash and Tillman Wednesday night appearing agitated as two Detroit police officers approached him. Police say Durham quickly began firing shots hitting them both.

Then, also wounded, Durham was discovered two hours later lying behind a bush a few blocks away.

"As the officers approached," Craig said. "He, in a second attempt, tried to attack these officers."

But that man is not the same person Durham's friends say they know.

"I was surprised," said Dequince Beaty, a neighbor. "I was like why would he do that?"

FOX 2: "Were you ever scared of him?"

"Yeah, when he had his gun," said Beaty.

Even more startled his younger brother 52-year-old Emory Durham.

"I never heard anyone saying he would go around starting something, or bother anybody," Emory Durham said. "He was more of a peaceful guy. He was just in his own world and he would do his own thing."

Emory Durham says his brother is mentally ill. He says back in 1976 while working at a steel company a piece of steel fell onto his head and Raymond hasn't been the same since - hallucinating - then, getting into drugs.

"My mother and father always tried to get him committed," Emory Durham said. "They wouldn't take him, he had to submit himself."

Instead, despite his family wanting to help, Emory Durham says his brother lived in random vacant homes. Neighbors frequently saw him riding his bike and often, walking and talking to himself.

"If he shot at police, in his mind he probably thought he was shooting at aliens or something," said a neighbor. "Because he really has a mental problem."

Employees at a gas station on Michigan Avenue - just a couple blocks away, say Durham would stop in once or twice a day and Wednesday he stopped in just an hour before the shootings.

"Last night he came in and bought his two cheeseburgers, his usual," said Ismael Farraj, a gas station employee. "I would never think anything like this would happen."

Durham doesn't appear to have a violent past; Detroit police say he has a history of breaking and entering. He has two convictions from about 20 years ago and while Durham is being investigated in the murder of Wayne State police Sgt. Collin Rose - neighbors and Durham’s' brother know this could have easily turned deadly.

"We just thank god everyone is okay," said a neighbor. "We are just praying for those two officers as well as Raymond."

The same model of gun was used in both the shooting of two officers last night as well as the murder of Wayne State Sgt. Collin Rose. Ballistics tests are being done by the Michigan State Police crime lab to see if there is a connection between the incidents.