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September 16, 2013

Two suspects shot after Warren police respond to burglary

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

WARREN — Two of three suspects met by police responding to a burglary call at a tobacco shop near Nine Mile Road and Van Dyke early Sept. 13 were shot by officers when the driver allegedly attempted to flee in a stolen van.

According to Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green, dispatch was notified about a building alarm and received a 911 call from a witness who said he watched two of the men make multiple trips inside the store on Nine Mile west of Van Dyke at 6:02 a.m.

Three Warren patrol officers responded two minutes later and positioned their vehicles around the suspects’ van, which was listed as stolen out of Livonia. Green said the three suspects got in the van and attempted to flee as officers arrived.

“The third officer runs up to the van to try to extract the driver. The van starts to take off and drives up over the sidewalk toward one of the officers, who is pinned between the scout car and the wall,” Green said.

He added that the officers fired, fearing for their safety.

“The two front occupants are both struck. Their car got held up on the corner of the building. They were removed from the vehicle,” Green said. “The backseat passenger was placed in custody and taken to Warren PD.”

No officers were injured, and the two suspects hit by gunfire were transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

Green said one suspect suffered superficial wounds and was expected to be released into police custody later Sept. 13. The other wounded suspect needed further treatment for broken arms. He remained under police guard at the hospital, where Green said he was uncooperative with medical staff and allegedly threatened to “kill police officers when he gets out.”

Warren Police Detective Sgt. Stephen Mills said several garbage bags containing cartons of cigarettes were recovered from the van.

Police are investigating whether the men were responsible for attempted break-ins reported earlier Sept. 13 at tobacco shops near 10 Mile Road and Ryan in Warren, and at 10 Mile and Sherwood in Center Line. Detectives were also reviewing video to see if the suspects were responsible for other recent thefts in Warren and Chesterfield Township.

The investigation into the theft remained ongoing at press time.

Green said the shooting was reported to Macomb County prosecutors and that it would be reviewed by Warren detectives, the Warren Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division and a shooting review board.

“I’m confident right now, as we speak, they were within policy, procedure and the law,” Green said of the officers involved.

Per departmental policy, the two officers who fired shots and the third officer at the scene were placed on paid administrative leave, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Green said it was unclear when the suspects would be charged, as power was out at Warren’s 37th District Court complex early Sept. 13.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.