Lansing, MI – Eight police officers in the state of Michigan were shot – one fatally - in the line of duty in less than two weeks, and the head of the police union doesn’t want citizens to forget about it.
Michael Sauger, state president of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), published an open letter to the citizens of Michigan on Monday on union’s official Facebook page asking for their support.
“In less than 2 weeks, 8 police officers in Michigan have been shot in the line of duty,” the missive began. “Fortunately, most of these officers did return home, one did not. On Friday, we will bury Detroit Police Corporal Rasheen McClain.”
“We run towards danger. We stand up. We answer the call,” Sauger wrote.
“The Michigan FOP stands with our law enforcement officers,” he continued. “The Michigan FOP stands with the communities of Monroe, Detroit, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.”
“The Michigan FOP stands to protect the citizens of Michigan,” Sauger concluded. “We ask that the Citizens of Michigan STAND WITH US to stop this violence.”
On Nov. 19, two Monroe Police Department officers were shot after they responded to a call at an apartment complex where a maintenance worker was arguing with a tenant, according to WXYZ.
Simba Lion allegedly assaulted the maintenance worker and then shot the two officers who responded to the 911 call.
Officers returned fire and shot Lion multiple times, WXYZ reported.
Lion later died, and both police officers were treated for their injuries and released from the hospital.
On Nov. 20, two Detroit Police Department officers were shot, one of them fatally, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The suspect, JuJuan Parks, had been released from prison in March.
Officials said that officers were responding to a call about a disturbance in a home, the WXYZ reported.
The officers were searching the home when Parks opened fire on them from in the basement.
Officers returned gunfire and the gunman fled, WXYZ reported.
The suspect was captured by police a block away from the scene and taken to the hospital.
Detroit Police Corporal Rasheen McClain was fatally shot during the confrontation.
And Detroit Police Officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse was shot and wounded in the ankle, WXYZ reported.
On Nov. 30, Battle Creek Police Officer Jeff Johnson, 33, was shot in the leg, chest, and wrist while responding to a call about children screaming, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Andre Yarbrough has been accused of shooting Officer Johnson.
Yarbrough fled the scene but was apprehended the next day at a nearby apartment.
The suspect was bitten by a police K9 officer when he was captured, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Then on Dec. 1, three police officers were shot in Comstock Township responding to a home invasion call that involved an armed suspect.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller told reporters at a press conference on Monday morning that the incident occurred when a man broke into the victims’ home and held them hostage.
The victims did not know the intruder.
The suspect fatally shot one of the hostages, later identified as Christopher Neal, and then opened fire on police when a group of officers from three different agencies moved in to try to rescue the hostages.
“Officers went into the residence to try to save lives. The officers went in with a plan and worked that plan as a team,” Sheriff Fuller said. “During the incident, three officers received injuries due to the suspect firing his gun.”
The sheriff further explained what happened during the incident.
“There were a lot of rounds fired off last night by the suspect, and no officers were in a position to return any fire because they were worried about other victims,” he said. “And that’s why you have three injured officers today and the suspect in custody.”
Officials identified two of the three wounded law enforcement officers.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) Officer Caleb Jones was shot in the shoulder and remained in the hospital in “good condition,” KDPS officials said.
Officer Jones, a three-year veteran of the department, is also a member of the SWAT team.
Michigan State Police officials said that Trooper Mark Fletcher had been struck in the lower leg by gunfire.
He was treated and has already been released from the hospital.
Sheriff Fuller said that one of his rookie Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies received a graze wound to the head, but he did not release the deputy’s name.
He told reporters that the wounded deputy had been a member of the sheriff’s department for less than a year.