DPD Chief on police officer killed in shooting: 'We lost a hero'

The Detroit Police Department and city are mourning the loss of a 5-year veteran who was fatally shot by a suspect with an assault rifle Wednesday night.

The victim, who is a husband and father from the DPD's 2nd Precinct, responded to the call of shots fired at Marlowe and Joy Road at about 7:30 p.m. 

It was there he was wounded by a suspect armed with a Draco assault rifle. As he was hit, his partner returned fire and killed the gunman. 

"It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform our department and our community that we lost a hero today," said Detroit Police Chief James White. "Our officers are heartbroken."

The officer was taken to Sinai Grace Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

"There is so much violence, it just seems like there is nowhere in this country you can go and be safe," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "But there is people who don't believe that - they are police officers. This entire city is holding the family in our hearts tonight and we will be with them every step of the way."

The officer, who has not been identified pending the notification of relatives, hailed from a long line of officers. 

Duggan said that the fallen officer had a calling, according to the family.

"The rest of us just spent time with the family who described our fallen officer as somebody who had a calling for the community and was doing what he loved," Duggan said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to all the officers working. And tonight we have a debt we can never repay."

Chief White said the officer's father recently retired from the force.

Related: Detroit police officer and suspect die in shooting on city's west side

"I've got a family that is grieving. This did not have to happen," White said. "How do you tell a mom and a child what I just had to tell them. It is outrageous."

White said the violence in the country is outrageous, as well as the assaults against police officers. 

"There is too much gun violence in this city, there is too much gun violence in this country," White said. "Now we have an officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. He put his life on the line for you and me. And our officers are doing it right now even after this call. Enough is enough."

Detroit Mayor Duggan released a statement late tonight:

"The senseless violence ravaging our country has hit far too close to home tonight. We owe a debt of gratitude to our fallen officer, a debt that we can never repay. He gave his life to serve his city and keep his fellow Detroiters safe. Our entire city is holding his family in our hearts tonight and will be with them every step of the way in the difficult days ahead."