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Detroit Officer Shot to Death, Suspect Critically Hurt

February 12, 2002
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Detroit Officer Shot to Death, Suspect Critically Hurt

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) - A city police officer was shot and killed while making a traffic stop Tuesday night, authorities said.

Police identified the slain officer as Michael Scanlon, 34, who was working a one-man traffic car in the 8th Precinct, The Detroit News reported.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Police Chief Jerry Oliver went to Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, where Scanlon died at about 11 p.m.

"This is a very difficult time," Kilpatrick said at a news conference at Botsford. "Any time one of our soldiers loses their life on a battlefield, it's terrible. We're wrapping our arms around this man's family."

Oliver said Scanlon was described as an outstanding officer, a hard worker and a "good guy."

"It's a tragedy on top of a tragedy to lose one of our best," Oliver said. "We have to be strong for the family and do the best to support them."

Investigators said the shooting occurred after Scanlon had spotted a man making an illegal turn onto Six Mile Road in Detroit. Scanlon followed the vehicle into Redford Township where he stopped the car. Scanlon was frisking the suspect when a scuffle began and apparently both men pulled handguns and began shooting, the newspaper reported.

The suspect and Scanlon were both shot. When Scanlon fell to the ground, the suspect allegedly grabbed Scanlon's gun and fired a third shot into his back.

The man then took the officer's car and drove to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, where he arrived with a gunshot wound to the chest, said hospital spokeswoman Julie Sproul.

"He's been transferred to University of Michigan in critical condition," Sproul said.

University of Michigan Health System spokeswoman Carrie Hagen said she had not yet confirmed that the suspect had arrived and did not know his condition.

Another man who was in the car with the suspect escaped, The Detroit News reported.

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