DETROIT - A man who was acting "erratically" at a hotel on Detroit's east side was shot by police officers after running into traffic, pulling out a gun and firing several shots, officials said.
Police said the 31-year-old man was shot Wednesday morning after a brief foot chase outside a hotel on East Jefferson Avenue near St. Aubin Street.
Police said a man in his early 30s was at the Detroit Regency Hotel on Jefferson Avenue and was acting erratically. Police responded to the scene after multiple witnesses called 911 to report the man had a gun.
When officers made contact with the man, he reportedly ran out of the hotel and into traffic. Witnesses said the man jumped over vehicles in the middle of the road.
"So at some point, he leaves the hotel, kind of running away from the officers," Detroit police Chief James Craig said. "In doing so, he runs out into traffic here on Jefferson."
"The man was screaming and yelling and he was running around, and they were trying to catch him," Barbara Dean said. "He was running down the sidewalk and in and out of the cars and they were chasing him. He was yelling and they were yelling. Then he jumped over a few cars, he whipped around a few of the police officers. He was juking them like he was a football player or something."
Craig said the man wouldn't take his hand's out of his pockets, which kept officers on edge.
The man was hit by a car, and when he stood up, he allegedly pulled out a gun and fired several shots.
"He had his hand in his pocket, and then he pulled out a gun," Dean said.
"The next thing you know, we started hearing gunshots, and that's when the perpetrator was, basically, he was put down," another witness said.
Officers returned fire and the man was hit at least twice.
A gun and spent casings were recovered from the scene.
"He turns and faces the officer, we now know he possibly fired as many as three shots at the officers from a 9mm handgun," Craig said. "Certainly the officers, both fearing for their life, returned fire."
"He was going to kill somebody," Dean said. "It was definite."
The man was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No officers were injured in the incident.
"This is what our officers deal with daily," Craig said. "We deal with individuals suffering from mental illness. I’ve been very vocal about the necessity to do something instead of talking about it. This could have been a tragic outcome for so many people."
Craig said one car was hit by gunfire during the incident.
Suspect known to police
Craig said the man was discharged from parole in 2014. He was locked up in 2005 for an armed robbery conviction.
In 2015, the man was arrested on a narcotics violation by the Michigan State Police, and the case was subsequently dismissed.
The most recent contact police had with the man was about three weeks ago. He was arrested on a narcotics violation and resisted arrest, according to Craig. The case is pending.
"The subject was arrested, we believe, officers assigned to the 5th Precinct had a narcotics violation," Craig said. "Ironically, he resisted during that encounter."
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