Detroit Car Chase Ends In Shootout, Police Injured, Suspect Dead

Posted By Urban News Hour | April 3, 2013

When Detroit police officers stopped a car being driven by a homicide suspect on the city’s west side Tuesday evening, a woman in the car, a police source said, cried out: “He’s got a gun!”

The driver opened the car door and began firing at police, striking one officer in the head and another in the leg, sources said. Police fired back, a source said, killing the suspect, whose hand was reportedly still gripping his gun after he was shot.

The wounded officers remained hospitalized late Tuesday, one in temporary serious condition and the other in stable condition and expected to be released within 24 hours, Dr. Scott Dulchavsky, chairman of surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, said at a news conference.

Few details were released by Interim Police Chief Chester Logan, including the officers’ names and the extent of their injuries.

“Two officers were shot, the suspect was fatally wounded,” he said at the hospital news conference. “At this time, we will be providing no further details.”

Dulchavsky said doctors would not talk about the officers’ injuries because their families requested privacy.

Zeonist Joseph of Detroit identified the man killed as her 23-year-old son, Matthew Joseph. According to Michigan Department of Corrections records, Joseph was paroled in early October after serving a prison sentence for armed robbery and weapons charges.

The shootout occurred in the area of Linwood and Hooker about 6:15 p.m. Numerous police officers had the area cordoned off immediately after the shootout.

The officers were part of the Comprehensive Violence Reduction Partnership unit, said Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens. The unit is a partnership among the Detroit police, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Michigan State Police, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan Department of Corrections.

Logan said the officers were following a vehicle carrying a suspect in a Thursday homicide involving marijuana. Stephens said the suspect was wanted in a fatal shooting that occurred March 28. He said the officers tried to pull the vehicle over in the 3700 block of 25th Street and a chase ensued.

The vehicle stopped at Linwood and Hooker and the suspect began firing at the officers. They returned fire, killing him, Logan said.

Stephens said another male and a female were in the car with the suspect when the shootout with police occurred. Those two people have been arrested, she said.

One of the officer’s shot is a 24-year veteran of the force and the other has been with the department for 12 years, Stephens said.

Laura Thompson, 73, of Detroit was among the bystanders who went to the scene after hearing gunshots Tuesday evening.

“It sounded like a war zone. Automatic weapons. You can always tell because it’s rapid,” she said.

Thompson and her granddaughter, 23-year-old Laura Dewberry, told a Free Press reporter that there were at least three people in the car being chased by police.

Several law enforcement officers remained on the scene late Tuesday, with police cars, yellow police tape and road flares blocking traffic from traveling down Linwood.

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