Police: Detroit officer shooting wasn't an ambush

Collin Rose

DETROIT -- A police officer is in critical condition after he was shot in the head while on patrol near a university campus in Detroit, but authorities said Wednesday he probably was not ambushed.

Wayne State Police Chief Anthony Holt said a suspect was being interrogated in the attack Tuesday evening on 29-year-old officer Collin Rose, whose condition Holt described as "very grave."

Detroit police chief James Craig said Rose was on duty about 6:30 p.m. when he radioed to say he was investigating possible thefts of navigation systems from vehicles, and he was about to speak to someone on a bike.

Officers who arrived on the scene found Rose injured on the ground, Craig said.

Authorities said ambush-style shootings Sunday left one police officer dead in San Antonio and another wounded in St. Louis, underscoring fears in the law-enforcement community that the uniform increasingly is becoming a target.

One-third of police officers shot to death on the job this year were targeted purposely by their assailant, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

But Holt said that wasn't the case Tuesday in Detroit.

"I don't believe it was an ambush," Holt said at a news conference Wednesday. "I don't believe he was specifically targeted" because of his uniform.

A suspect who has had several run-ins with police is in custody, but he has not been charged, Holt said. He said no weapon has been recovered, and the investigation is ongoing.

"We're trying to put the pieces together," Holt said.

University spokesman Matt Lockwood said Wednesday morning Rose had undergone surgery, and his parents and fiancee are by his side.

Holt said Rose is a much-admired five-year veteran of the department who works in the canine unit.

After the shooting, several dozen armed officers combed the area surrounding the campus, hunting for a suspect.

According to a statement posted on the university's website, police were searching for an African-American man in his 40s with a full beard. It said he was wearing a white T-shirt with white and black lettering, a skull cap and a brown jacket.

Police arrested the man without incident about three blocks from where the shooting happened, Detroit assistant chief Steve Dolunt said.

Wayne State police Sgt. Cary Glazer said he had a physical run-in with the suspect five years ago. Glazer said he was patrolling the campus in 2011 when the man walking in the street swore at him and told the sergeant to get out of the way.

Glazer said he got out of his car and the pair struggled until other officers arrived.

"He wanted to fight -- he wanted to fight an officer," Glazer said.

The man was charged with resisting and obstructing police after that incident.

Rose was a cadet with the New Baltimore Police Department and had his first job as an officer with the village of Richland, Lockwood said.

Rose, a cyclist interested in dog training, graduated from Ferris State University in 2010 and was president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

"That shows you his leadership right there," Lockwood said.

Glazer said he and his colleagues are "numb" about the shooting of Rose, whom he praised for being "always up to do whatever."

Wayne State has more than 27,000 students and is in the heart of Detroit. Wilson said the school employs about 65 officers.