Taylor police officer killed in shootout

Officer Matthew Edwards had been with Taylor Police Department since 2005

TAYLOR, Mich. - A police officer once named officer of the year was killed Friday and another man was hospitalized after a shooting in Taylor.

Police said the shooting happened around 6 a.m. at the Coppertree Apartments, which are located in the 12400 block of Pine Street Road.

The tragic turn of events began when a woman called 911 to report a home invasion in progress.

When officers arrived at the apartment, they said they noticed a man attempting to jump through a window, Cmdr. Daniel Crowell said.

Police said Cpl. Matthew Edwards, 31, confronted Tyress Mathews and then Mathews shot him numerous times.

Edwards partner returned fire and struck Mathews, Crowell said.

"It was crazy. I was just shaking. I never seen anything like this," said witness Valdez Green.

Both Edwards and Mathews were taken to Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn where Edwards was pronounced dead.

Crowell said this is the first officer death in the history of the Taylor Police Department.

Mathews, 36, underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Mathews has an extensive criminal record, which includes convictions of fleeing and eluding, armed robbery and assault with intent to murder.

He could be arraigned as soon as Saturday.

"Officer Edwards made the ultimate sacrifice. Something we all take for granted as we put on our uniforms everyday. As law enforcement officers, we all expect to go home at night to our families. Please pray for Officer Edwards' family in the coming days and weeks and please pray for the Taylor Police Department," said Crowell.

Police said Edwards has been with the department since 2005 and was named Officer of the Year in 2008 by the Police Officers Association of Michigan for his professionalism in a life-and-death situation.

Edwards leaves behind a wife and two young children.

The public can make donations at any PNC Bank branch to the Cpl. Matthew Edwards Memorial Fund.

Residents told Local 4 they heard the gunshots.

"I heard nine or 10 gunshots. When I got up and looked out, I saw the police officer laying on the ground near the police car," said Nicole Green. "It's just a sad situation."

Michigan State Police are investigating.

Neighbors said drugs and crime are common in the area.

A woman was fatally shot two days after she moved into Coppertree several years ago.

Wendy Meinke, 36, was killed in 2007 during a dispute involving her son and others at an apartment complex in Taylor.

Police at the time said she tried to intervene and two people shot in her direction.

Neighbors said police said in the past few weeks they have seen another flare up of crime in the area.

"For the last few days it has been pretty terrible. I want to pack my stuff up and leave. I never seen this much crime in one place in a long time," said Coopertree Apartment resident Theresa.

Leave your condolences for Edwards family below.

Copyright 2003 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.