27ºF

Detroit teen sentenced in shooting of 2 police officers he thought were burglars

2 officers shot while responding to burglary call

DETROIT – A Detroit teen was in court Wednesday to be sentenced in the shooting of two Detroit police officers he thought were burglars breaking into his mother's home on the city's west side.

Juwan Alexander Plummer, 19, accepted a plea deal in exchange for the dismissal of two counts of felonious assault. He pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm in a building, two counts of causing serious injury, two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm in a building causing serious injury, and two counts of felony firearms violations.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 2 Detroit officers shot while responding to burglary call on city's west side

The prosecutor spoke out against Plummer saying that the people were not satisfied with the sentencing agreement. She said that Plummer wasn't being held accountable.

Plummer addressed the court.

"This situation is a very terrible situation and I hope that the officers and their families understand that the violence in our neighborhoods and the violence in our communities, the situations that happened in our home caused this terrible accident to happen,” Plummer said. “I would never want to take a hard working man’s life.”

The officers were not present in the court room.

“I always tried to do things the right way,” Plummer said through tears. “I wasn’t always the best in school but I always went and tried the best I could. I didn’t have the best job but I tried to help my mother as much as I could and make the best out of the situation of what we had. I just hope that the officers are okay and that they understand this terrible situation and that I’m so sorry.”

2 years probation

Plummer was sentenced to two years of probation and will spend the first 90 days in the Wayne County Jail. He was sentenced under the HYTA and must complete a gun safety class.

What happened

Plummer fired at officers April 16 at about 11:45 p.m. when they responded to the 20000 block of Lesure Street for a burglary call. Plummer apparently did not realize they were officers and not burglars approaching the home. He retrieved a shotgun and shot through a window, striking the officers after seeing flashlights. 

One officer was hit with shrapnel in his left arm. The other officer was shot in his face. Both officers were treated at Sinai-Grace Hospital and have been recovering. 

READ BACK: Detroit police chief 'optimistic' 2 officers shot will recover; man in custody

"This case is very unfortunate and could have been much worse," Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said. "We simply cannot and will not ignore the alleged actions of the defendant in this case. The victims could well have been a neighbor, or a small child. The lives of these officers, who were doing their jobs, will never be the same and we must hold people accountable for their actions."

Chief James Craig said several calls of a burglary were made to the police department were made from Plummer's residence on the day of the incident. Police were responding to an unrelated burglary call in the same block of Lesure Street on the night of the shooting.

"Several calls of a burglary were made to the police department on this date," Craig said the day after the shooting occurred. "One of the individuals in the house ... fearing for the safety of his family fired from inside the house, armed with a shotgun, striking both officers.

There were three people in the home at the time of the incident -- a mother, 19-year-old Plummer and a 14-year-old. Craig said the shotgun was given to the family by another family member after a burglary earlier this year.

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit breaking news alerts and email newsletters


About the Authors: