Bullet-proof vest saves Detroit police officer in shootout

Undercover Detroit police officer shot after chase near Mack Avenue, East Grand Boulevard; suspect shot near funeral home


A Detroit police officer was shot Wednesday afternoon on the city's east side.

The officer, who was undercover, was shot in his back while pursuing a suspect who also was shot at East Grand Boulevard and Mack Avenue, near Swanson Funeral Home.

It appears the officer will be OK thanks to his bullet-proof vest. He was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Police were chasing the man in a red car. He was wanted in a previous shooting. He was driving at high speeds down Mack Avenue but police managed to stop him. He bailed out of the car and ran right in front of a construction crew working on the lot at the Swanson Funeral Home.

Watch: Vest saved Detroit police officer in shootout

When exchanging gunfire with police officers, the suspect was shot at the funeral home. Police have him in custody. He was taken to a hospital. He was talking when being transported by EMS. He was shot twice -- once in the chest and once in the right arm. He is in serious condition at Detroit Receiving.

"I'm so glad and thankful that the officer was not injured any worse than he was," said Detroit interim Police Chief Chester Logan. "And I am also thankful that the suspect wasn't injured any worse than he was. It's a good day."

It all unfolded in front of the construction crew. Witnesses say the suspect drew his weapon first.

"Then the suspect ran down this alley over here and we saw he just appeared around the back of the building and we are standing here, you know, waiting to see the cops chasing him," said Mike Beaton, a witness working with the construction crew. "He popped out of a doorway ... right in front of us."

The man ran back and confronted the police officers, witnesses said.

"A plain clothes officer was standing right there and we didn't know it was a cop and we saw him pull the gun, like this, and he pulled the trigger and it clicked, like there wasn't a round in it. That's when I turned my head and ran ... we just heard pop, pop, pop, gunfire," Beaton said.

The police officer has been with the Detroit Police Department for more than 10 years.

"Obviously the worst thing that can happen ... it could be fatal," said Detroit Police Commander Steve Dolunt. "Our officers are trained.

They are very well-trained, actually, to prepare for these kinds of situations. He was wearing his vest. He is a very good officer, that's why he is with the special operations in the Northeast District, as is his crew. They surrounded the funeral home and they acted very professionally. No one is dead. It worked out perfect."

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