DETROIT – A man shot by Detroit police officers Wednesday night in the 14900 block of Tireman Avenue has died from his injuries, Chief James Craig said Thursday.
Police were called to a home about 8 p.m. on the report of an assault. The suspect had left the location but later returned when officers were still outside the home.
Officers had conducted an investigation into the assault report and were about to leave when they were alerted by one of the witnesses that the suspect had returned.
Two officers ran toward where the suspect was last seen. The chief said the confrontation was captured on body-cam video. It was first reported that the man shot at officers, but during a news conference Thursday the chief did not say the man fired gunshots. Instead, the chief said the man was reaching for the gun when officers fired.
"On his right side he had a holstered weapon," Craig said. "It appeared, in my personal review of the video, that his body began to turn and he was grabbing for his weapon to remove it from his holster."
Craig said the officers were in fear for their own lives, so they fired.
"They fired a number of times, striking the suspect in the chest," Craig said.
The suspect fell to the ground, and the officers administered first aid, Craig said. The 43-year-old man was in critical condition at a hospital but has died from his injuries. He did not have a criminal past, Craig said.
A gun was recovered from the scene.
The chief said there are witnesses who support the officers' actions. Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on leave, which is standard protocol after this type of shooting on the job.
Craig said one of the officers had only been out of the police academy for a couple of weeks. The other officer has been on the force for 2 and 1/2 years.
Craig said the body-cam video will not be released to the public until an investigation is complete.
"It's always tragic when we have to use deadly force, but there are times when our officers are facing an imminent threat and they don't have any other option," said Craig. "