Man accused of straw purchase of gun that killed Detroit police Officer Loren Courts pleads guilty

Firearm sold to friend who allegedly fatally shot officer in July

A still from surveillance footage of Sheldon Thomas who is accused of purchasing a firearm and then selling it to someone else who allegedly used it to fatally shoot a Detroit police officer in July 2022. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The man accused of illegally purchasing and selling the gun that was used to kill a Detroit police officer in July has pleaded guilty.

Sheldon Thomas, of Detroit, appeared in court Monday in relation to charges against him in connection with the fatal shooting of Detroit police Officer Loren Courts. Thomas is accused of buying a firearm for his friend Ehmani Davis, the 19-year-old who police say fatally shot Courts on June 6.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Thomas made false statements when purchasing the firearm, saying he was buying it for himself and not for another person. Purchasing a firearm for someone who is legally prohibited from possessing one can be chargeable with 10 years prison time, officials said.

A still from surveillance footage of Sheldon Thomas (left) allegedly selling a newly-purchased firearm to his friend Ehmani Davis (right) who allegedly used it to fatally shoot a Detroit police officer on July 6, 2022. (WDIV)

Thomas was accused of buying a pistol from a gun store in Eastpointe on June 7, and then later that day meeting up with Davis in a nearby parking lot to sell the gun to him. When Courts and his partner were responding to a scene in Detroit on July 6, Davis allegedly used that weapon to fatally shoot Courts.

Davis was also killed when officers returned fire that day.

Thomas was arrested in July and was initially ordered to remain in jail pending a trial. He appeared in court on Monday, Dec. 12, and pleaded guilty to making a false statement when purchasing the firearm in June.

He is expected to be sentenced in March of next year.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.