Off-duty Lathrup Village officer allegedly kills man in fight on Detroit's west side

Officer is in custody

DETROIT – A Detroit man is dead after an off-duty police officer allegedly hit him in the head during an argument in the officer's backyard.

Assistant Detroit Police Chief Steve Dolunt said the officer, who works part-time for the Lathrup Village Police Department, was grilling in his backyard Monday evening on Whitcomb Street when his neighbor jumped the fence. Dolunt said the two men got into a physical fight and the officer struck the man in the head, knocking him down.

The man, identified as 41-year-old Wayne Wheeler, was pronounced dead at the scene by a medic.

The off-duty officer was taken into custody briefly, but was released early Tuesday morning. Dolunt said the department's investigation will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

Dolunt said no weapons were used and it doesn't appear that the fight had anything to do with the officer's profession. The men had an ongoing dispute.