Questions raised why wounded DPD officer was not taken to closest hospital
DETROIT (WJBK) - A 14-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department is fighting for his life tonight. Officer Johnson was shot in the forehead Sunday night at Oakman Apartments on Joy Road while responding to a 911 call for help.
The officers were responding to a domestic violence call. The woman's boyfriend had already left the building but another resident heard the commotion outside. Surveillance cameras inside show James Ray, 46, making his way to the door of the building - with a gun. Chief James Craig says Johnson and Ray fired at each other.
Officer Johnson's partner - just six months out of the police academy - fired multiple rounds at Ray - who died at the scene.
Monday night Officer Johnson is at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn where he was rushed just after the shooting. But questions have been raised about why he ended up there since it was not the closest emergency room.
The 14-year veteran is still in critical condition after a second surgery attempting to bring down the swelling on his brain. As prayers continue for his recovery some are calling for a review as to why the officer was brought to this hospital in the first place.
"We have hindsight to see what went wrong," said Mark Diaz, Detroit police union president. "And the fact is there were other hospitals closer that he should have been taken to."
Rapid Response EMS arrives on scene at Joy and Wyoming within 90 seconds taking the injured hospital 7.3 miles away to Oakwood Beaumont Hospital, a Level Two trauma center.
The EMS bypassed Sinai Grace, another Level Two hospital 5.1 miles from the scene and Henry Ford Hospital a Level One trauma center, a designation best equipped for the most severe trauma - just 4.8 miles away.
This left Diaz and others to wonder why and how the decision was made.
"We want to take them to the very best hospital," Diaz said. "And I'm not saying Oakwood Beaumont isn't a great hospital but when I have Detroit Receiving less than a half mile further away and Henry Ford, another Trauma One center that was only four miles away opposed to seven, he should have gone there."
Diaz is quick to point out that there is no way anyone could know if this would make any difference in the life of Officer Johnson who was shot in the head. However it makes a difference going forward.
"I want my officers to get treated as quickly as possible," Diaz said. "But we have to diligent to make sure proper policies in place to ensure our citizens are getting proper treatment immediately."
FOX 2 contacted Rapid Response EMS, who says policies and procedures are determined by the Detroit East Medical Control Authority or DEMCA. FOX 2 was unable to reach them for comment on the policy of how an ambulance determines where to transport a patient.
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FOX 2 also spoke with Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones who says they are investigating this particular issue, however it is "much too early to comment on this situation."
Jones is not the only one who wants an investigation.
FOX 2 also reached out to Chief Craig who said: "Based on the preliminary information the department has received, I have deep concerns that warrant a thorough review."