Police director: Officer had no choice in killing hatchet-wielding man

An ax-wielding man was fatally shot by police Monday night in Oak Park.

The Oak Park director of public safety said his officer had no choice but to use deadly force after entering a home and finding a man charging at them armed with a hatchet. 

A 911 call brought officers to the 2300 block of Avon Street near Greenfield and Nine Mile around 6:30 p.m. Monday. 

“The subject said he was armed a handgun and a hatchet and threatened to shoot up the neighborhood," said Director Steve Cooper.

When police arrived, they say the mother of the person making those alleged threats answered the door. 

“She was immediately brought onto the porch as the officers immediately entered into the home," Cooper said. "They were met by the subject who made the threats and they were faced with the situation of the subject advancing with a hatchet.”

Cooper says once inside the house, and seeing an armed man advancing on them one of the officers fired, killing him. 

“He advanced towards the officers, and left the officer no choice but to use lethal force,” he said.

Family members of the man shot and killed describe him as a stand-up man in his mid-40s who is battling cancer and could be emotionally unstable. 

But after hearing the details of what led up to his death, they said it sounds out of character. 

"Very tragic," Cooper said. "You never want a situation to end this way. Just a terrible tragedy.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation and per protocol, the officer who pulled the trigger has been placed on leave.