Report exposes cop shoots another during party at Knights of Columbus in Livonia

Gun discharges during dispute

A report details a shooting that happened at a function retired police were attending in Livonia.

LIVONIA, Mich. – It was about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 5, 2019, when the call came over the radio.

“This is a police function, it is a police function,” the caller said.

The call was made to report gunfire at the Knights of Columbus in Livonia. Police officers rushed to the building along Farmington Road. The police response was recorded on officers’ body cameras.

Officer: “Is he the one that got hit?”

Witness: “No, he’s the one that’s shot.”

Officer: “Did he shoot?”

Witness: “Yes.”

Officer: “Is he shot, too?”

Witness: “No.”

Former Detroit police officer Jack Lempea, 65, was arrested. According to the police report, Lempea slapped John Widmer on the forehead. Widmer said “take it easy," and, according to the report, Lempea removed a pistol from his waistband and pointed it between Widmer’s eyes, within inches of his face.

Widmer is heard on the bodycam video talking to officers.

Widmer: “You know what he did? He came up and sat next to me and hit me in the head twice. He pointed his gun right between my eyes. I was trying to talk about old Detroit police officers that I knew. That was it."

Jack Lempea (WDIV)

According to the report, the men started to fight and another retired cop -- Michael Meister -- tried to get Lempea’s gun from him. The gun discharged, striking Meister in the right palm. Meister was bleeding heavily. A tourniquet stopped the bleeding as he was rushed to the hospital.

Officers searched Lempea as they took him away. Lempea is heard on the video telling the officer it “kind hurts.”

Lempea: “Hey, listen, I’m a cop you d***head.”

Officer: “OK.”

Lempea: “You don’t give me that bull****.”

Officer: “Spread your feet.”

Lempea: “I already did that.”

Lempea was trying to catch a break from Livonia police, telling him to be careful with him because he is old.

Lempea: “Listen, listen. I’m cops like you guys.”

Officer: “OK well you just kind of shot someone, Do you know that? Kick you shoes off."

Lempea: “Yeah, well he tried to kill me.”

A woman approached police with a liquor bottle.

Woman: “I don’t know if you need this. This is what he brought into our building. That’s what he’s been drinking on all night. There’s his badge."

Lempea was taken to the hospital. He told them was once an officer with Detroit police.

Local 4 Defenders’ cameras were in court when Lempea was arraigned on his felonious assault charge. He and his attorney were not willing to talk about the case.

Local 4 has reached out to all of the officers involved. They do not want to talk about the case. They are waiting for the case to go to court.

Lempea could face one to four years in prison.

About the Author:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.