Chief: Detroit cop's death 'could have been prevented'

An internal investigation found the man accused of killing Rasheen McClain was a suspect in other shootings


Corey Williams
Associated Press

DETROIT — A 28-year-old man arrested following the slaying of one Detroit police officer and wounding of another may be connected to several earlier shootings, Detroit’s police chief said Friday, adding that he was “angry” more was not done to apprehend the suspect sooner.

Chief James Craig also said he has started an internal investigation to find out why the man was not arrested following the first shooting — a drive-by two weeks ago at the same west side home where officer Rasheen McClain was fatally shot Wednesday and officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse was wounded while responding to a home invasion.

A gunman who fatally shot Detroit Officer Rasheen McClain and wounded another is allegedly linked to several other shootings. (Photo/AP)
A gunman who fatally shot Detroit Officer Rasheen McClain and wounded another is allegedly linked to several other shootings. (Photo/AP)

No one was hurt in the drive-by, but two people were shot and wounded Sunday on the west side. Two others were shot Monday on the east side. One of those victims, a 31-year-old man, died.

The drive-by, Monday’s shooting and Wednesday’s home invasion appear to revolve around the suspect’s fixation on a 16-year-old ex-girlfriend.

An initial complaint was filed against the suspect after the drive-by. Batoum-Bisse, a patrol officer, took that report, Craig said.

Craig said the girl later went to the police station and alleges she gave “someone in the station the name of the responsible suspect.”

An investigator did send a letter to the victim and there was an attempt to contact a victim “and that’s where it stopped,” said Craig, adding that “more should have been done.”

“We’re not talking about an auto theft. We’re talking about shooting into an inhabited dwelling,” he said. “So, I’m very angry. Some people are going to be held accountable.”

“If we had did an appropriate follow up and taken him into custody we wouldn’t be talking about our hero who is no longer with us,” said Craig, referring to McClain. “Or the two shooting incidents on Sunday and then Monday. This happened two weeks ago. There is no excuse for a delay in investigating this type of matter.”

The suspect, whose name was not released, has not been charged in the shooting of the officers. He was shot in the arm by other officers as he fled the house Wednesday.

Detroit police have requested warrants in connection with Monday’s and Wednesday’s shooting, according to the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

Craig has said the suspect was released on parole from prison earlier this year and that his parole has been revoked after the shootings. That appears to be even more frustrating for the chief.

“We could have prevented this situation,” Craig told reporters Friday. “He was on parole. If we had identified him in a drive-by shooting, we could have revoked his parole then and sought an additional warrant for shooting into an inhabited dwelling.”

Associated Press
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