Suspect shot by Detroit police is familiar to law enforcement

The man who police say shot at them after acting erratically at a Detroit motel Wednesday morning is recovering in the hospital after being shot by police. Police say this isn't his first run-in with them.

Detroit police say they were called to the area on reports that a man was seen running and yelling in the middle of Jefferson. Police also said they got a call that he had been acting erratically.

"That call was upgraded to a possible mental subject armed with a gun," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

He was running down Jefferson, just east of I-75 as Kirsten Abbot was walking to meet a coworker. Behind him were two Detroit police officers.


"I asked what's going on, and right as I asked that, he yelled my life is on the line and from what I saw he wouldn't cooperate with police," Abbot said.

Police said the man was resisting arrest, ran into traffic, and was even hit by a car.

Emily Pitcole was watching it unfold from her apartment as the man hid behind a car. Then she said she heard more than a dozen gunshots.

"And then I heard about 15 to 20 shots. The suspect was laying right on Jefferson," Pitcole said. "There was like 10 cops around him tending to the wounds."

Police said the man had shot at their officers when they returned fire. The 31-year-old was hit with two or three bullets but is expected to survive. No officers were injured by his gunfire.

"This could've been a tragic outcome. Once again here we are: officers doing what they're called to do and met with violence," Craig said.

Police say they've dealt with him before, most recently within the last few weeks. They say he has a history of criminal behavior including a 2005 armed robbery conviction.

He also has multiple narcotics arrests and Detroit police are unsure if the man is mentally ill or if he was under the influence.

"We deal with mental illness. I've been vocal about the necessity to do something and not respond after the fact. This could've been a tragic outcome for a lot of people," Craig said.