DETROIT — Wayne State University Police K9 Officer Collin Rose has died of injuries sustained when he was shot in the head while on-duty.
Rose is the first Wayne State officer to be killed in the line of duty. He was the second Wayne State officer to be shot while on duty.
“I am saddened to report that a short time ago, Wayne State University officer Collin Rose died from the gunshot wound he suffered while working in the line of duty yesterday evening,” Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson said in a message to the campus community at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
“This is a tragedy felt by all of us — Collin and his family and friends, his fiancée, and our campus and community. Please keep Collin and his fiancée and family in your thoughts and prayers. Collin served Wayne State with distinction, and we owe those he left behind our deepest sympathies and our strong support.”
The 29-year-old officer was shot in the head Tuesday evening after he stopped to investigate a man while patrolling an area a few blocks off campus in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood.
Rose was alone in the car with his two dogs. It’s standard policy for officers to patrol alone, police said, It’s also standard policy not to get the dogs — which are trained for narcotics and bomb sniffing — out and to use them to control a subject.
It is unclear why Rose was in the area, which is off campus. Wayne State police are also sworn Detroit police officers and patrol the area around campus.
Police have not said if Rose was responding to a 911 call that the manager of a nearby apartment building said she had made. Betty Evans, manager of the Lincoln Apartments, said she had argued with a man on a bicycle, who didn’t live there and called 911 when he wouldn’t leave the area. She said she looked outside as an officer arrived to confront the man on the bike.
“He was outside, in front. The officer was trying to get his hands behind his back. We heard a shot and the officer went down, and we heard two more shots,” Evans said.
There also had been a rash of car break-ins in the area the day before. Wayne State University police Chief Tony Holt said he didn’t know how that factored into Rose’s decision to stop the suspect. The suspect, who is not being named by the Detroit Free Press because he has not been formally charged, was arrested late Tuesday night.
The suspect is known to the Wayne State police and other area departments. In 2011, he was charged with two charges of felony assault involving a police officer, one causing injury, and pleaded guilty, resulting in a 53-day jail sentence, the records show. There also was an incident in 2014, Holt said, although he didn’t have details of that.
The shooting is hitting the 65-member police department hard, university President M. Roy Wilson said at a press conference Wednesday. Many Wayne State officers, visibly shaken, gathered in the back and exchanged long hugs with each other at the press conference.
Rose was a 2010 graduate of Ferris State University and was one credit short of completing his master’s degree in police administration at Wayne State. His first job was with the Richland police department in western Michigan.
Rose had worked and done and conducted training all over the state, Holt said. He was also heavily involved in organizing memorials for other slain police officers in the area. Members of many Detroit-area police departments showed up at the hospital following the shooting.
People who live near the scene where Rose was shot said the suspect is a regular recipient of meals handed out three evenings per week from the I Am My Brothers Keeper Ministry about a block away.
“He’s just eat his food and took off,” said a man who identified himself as Angelo L. “(He would) go outside, smoke a cigarette and just vanish. That was it, just like everybody else that comes down there to eat.”
He said he’d seen the man in the area regularly for the past five to six years.
Angelo L. said he was familiar with Rose, who would regularly speak with and help people in the neighborhood, and that he feels “very, very bad for him.”
Follow David Jess on Twitter: @reporterdavidj
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