Detroit, MI – Detroit Police Department (DPD) Officer Rasheen McClain was murdered in the line of duty on Wednesday night during an ambush.
“It was very clear this suspect was trying to bait the officers and had a presence of mind," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said, according to WXYZ. "He wanted suicide by cop."
The incident began at approximately 7:20 p.m., when Officer McClain, 46, and his partner, Officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse, were dispatched to a report of a break-in at a home in the 20000-block of Wyoming Avenue, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The suspect, identified only as a 28-year-old parolee with an extensive criminal history, was angrily searching for his estranged ex-girlfriend at the residence, police said.
The gunman had also allegedly fired rounds at the woman’s home approximately two weeks prior, according to the Detroit Free Press.
When the officers arrived at the scene, the frantic occupants rushed outside and told them the suspect was inside the home and that he was armed with a “high-powered rifle,” police said.
A total of four DPD officers entered the residence and cleared the upstairs area.
As they were heading down into the basement, the gunman opened fire with an SKS semi-automatic carbine rifle, according to The Detroit News.
One round struck Officer McClain in the neck, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Officer Batoum-Bisse suffered a gunshot wound to the ankle.
“It was clear he had some type of tactical training,” Chief Craig said of the suspect, according to WXYZ.
He noted that the gunman was “very target-specific,” and that he “knew what he planned to do,” WILX reported.
Two other officers returned fire, striking the suspect in the arm before he fled from the house, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The gunman was apprehended approximately a block away from the shooting scene, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
He is expected to recover.
According to police, the suspect was previously the subject of two restraining orders, and has been convicted of a slew of offenses, some of which were assault and weapons-related.
He was released onto parole in March.
Officer McClain and Officer Batoum-Bisse were rushed to a local hospital, where Officer McClain died of his injuries, WXYZ reported.
“There are no words that are adequate to convey our heartfelt condolences to officer Rasheen Phillipe McClain’s family,” Detroit Police Officers Association President Craig Miller said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Officer McClain loved this city and was proud to serve and protect its citizens.”
"The members of the Detroit Police Officers Association will continue to strive to follow in his footsteps and to be worthy of his sacrifice," Miller added, according to The Detroit News.
Chief Craig said that Officer McClain’s murder marked “a heartbreaking day for the brave men and women” of the DPD, the Detroit Free Press reported.
He described the 16-year veteran-of-the-force as an outstanding leader.
"It's no surprise that when [Officer McClain] arrived at the scene, he took charge," Chief Craig said, according to The Detroit News. "Officer McClain quickly developed a plan: Once the other officers came, they'd go in, clear the location, and try to apprehend a dangerous suspect.”
"I'm always struck by the fact that we seem to lose the best of our officers in these tragedies," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said, according to WXYZ. "The city of Detroit is lucky to have the finest police force in America and the whole city mourns one of our heroes."
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that the shooting is a stark reminder of the risks law enforcement officers face every time they put on their uniforms.
“They run into danger to protect us,” Worthy said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We must never forget this, and should not need a horrible tragedy to remind us.”
Officer McClain leaves behind his wife of 10 years, as well as his two stepchildren, according to WXYZ.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Detroit Police Department Officer Rasheen McClain, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Rasheen McClain, your life mattered.