Suspect in fatal shooting of Detroit police officer was already under investigation, police say

28-year-old gunman was after 16-year-old girl, police say

DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the suspect in a shooting that killed one of his officers this was on the DPD’s radar, but fell through the cracks.

Craig said he has since launched an internal investigation, saying “more should have been done.”

Detroit police haven’t released the name of the suspect yet, but said the department is investigating his role in multiple shootings.

The suspected gunman is connected to the shooting of six people since Sunday. Two people, including Detroit Police Officer Rasheen McClain, were killed in the shootings.

McClain was killed Wednesday night when the gunman opened fire on him and three other officers at a home in the 20000 block of Wyoming Avenue. Officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse was wounded but is expected to be OK.

Craig said the gunman should have been found weeks ago and that the DPD failed to investigate.

READ: Chief: Suspect in Detroit police officer’s fatal shooting connected to 3 other shootings

Police said the 28-year-old suspect was after a 16-year-old girl, shooting up her family’s home on Wyoming Avenue.

In fact, Batoum-Bisse took the initial report when the girl went to the 12th Precinct to give DPD the gunman’s name.

A quick check would show he was paroled in march of this year after 8 years in prison for violent crimes.

Craig said his officers failed to act on that information.

“He was not arrested. I will tell you as we began to peel back that investigation, I tell you, lackluster," Craig said. "There should have been more follow-up made. I have launched an internal investigation. I felt more should have been done.”

With the suspected gunmen still on the streets, Local 4 learned he went hunting for anyone connected to the 16-year-old girl.

Two people were shot Sunday near the intersection of Seven Mile Road and Wyoming Street.

Another double-shooting occurred Monday on Detroit’s east side. Dontez Calhoun was killed.

Another tragedy struck Wednesday when the gunman -- in in the same home he shot up -- shot and killed officer McClain and wounded Batoum-Bisse.

Craig said there are real problems with the situation -- reports were taken, detectives were notified but not much effort was made after the gunman fired into the home.

“We haven’t gotten a signature on a warrant yet for murder, but he is in custody on a parole violation,” said Craig.

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Prosecutor says warrant request may be presented next week

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said they have not received a warrant request for this case but have been told by Detroit police that they should expect one by next week.

Meanwhile, Detroit police did submit a different homicide warrant request for this same suspect.

“This afternoon, DPD presented a different homicide warrant request involving the same 28-year-old Detroit male suspect in connection with a fatal shooting of a 31-year-old man, and the non-fatal shooting of another man that occurred on November 18, 2019 at 2:10 p.m. on Knodell Street in Detroit. The warrant request is currently being reviewed and a charging decision is not expected today,” reads the statement from the Prosecutor’s Office.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.