Undercover officers get into shootout with men during investigation on Detroit's east side

Police officers were not in uniform when gunmen opened fire

DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief James Craig provided an update Thursday after a man opened fire on undercover officers on the city's east side.

Craig said the ambush on officers Wednesday night wasn't necessarily a targeting incident. The reports on the case have changed in the last 18 hours. At first, it was reported that there was one shooter, and the assumption was that the officers were in uniform, but that's not the case.

Detroit police are still asking for the public's help in finding the bold gunmen.

Just before 11 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of St. Paul and Parkview streets, Detroit police officers were investigating a stolen car operation when two officers were confronted and fired upon by two men.

Craig said he's not sure the gunmen knew they were shooting at police officers.

"The officers were not in uniform," Craig said. "They were not in a marked police vehicle. In fact, they were in an undercover capacity in the middle of an investigation when they were confronted by these two suspects."

The officers returned fire and weren't certain whether their shots hit anyone before the men drove away in a dark-colored car.

While they canvassed the neighborhood, police found an airsoft rifle that was a replica of a menacing gun and not the real thing. But one of the shooters was serious about the attack.

"We also determined that the undercover vehicle was struck twice," Craig said. "We did recover casings from that. At this point, it's unknown if the officers' rounds took effect."

Police said the men were black. One was wearing a black sweatshirt and the other was wearing a gray sweatshirt.

Police don't believe there were any injuries in the shootout.

About the Authors: