'Angry' Detroit Police Chief Believes Officer's Death Could Have Been Prevented

By WWJ Newsradio 950

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit’s police chief wants to know why a parolee who shot up the same house where an officer was killed this week was out walking free. 

Officer Rasheen McClain was fatally shot Wednesday night after he and his partner responded to a home invasion on the city’s west side. 

Chief James Craig said an investigation revealed that two weeks ago a resident of the home identified the same 28-year-old man suspect as the person who’d visited and then opened fire into their home. 

In fact, the chief said, the same man is a suspect in multiple other shootings. 

“What I’m told, and I’m trying to confirm this part of the story, is that the victim from the drive-by shooting at the inhabited dwelling went to the station and gave the name of the suspect,” Craig told reporters Friday.

Chief Craig said if that’s the case, the suspect could have been arrested then; ultimately preventing McClain’s death and the wounding of Officer Felipe Batoum-Bisse

“If the shooting happened two weeks ago, he was on parole,” Craig said. “If we had identified him in drive-by shooting we could have revoked his parole then, and sought an additional warrant for shooting into an abandoned dwelling. So I am angry about that.” 

“My big question is: What happened next? Because if that had been done, and even if it hadn’t been done, where was the appropriate follow-up? Because we could have prevented this situation.” 

As it appears that someone dropped the ball, Craig is determined to find out who, and how it happened. 

“I have launched an investigation because, preliminarily, there are some real problems with this,” the chief said. “There should have been an immediate follow-up. I don’t care if it was a Sunday when she came in. You find the detectives, they get there, and they start to investigate.”

As the investigation continues, the alleged gunman, who was shot and wounded by police on Wednesday, has not yet been charged with McClain’s murder.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday that it received a warrant request in the case, but that it has been returned to DPD for further investigation.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said they are reviewing a different homicide warrant request involving the same suspect. It’s not for the drive-by, but for a third alleged crime: the fatal shooting of a 31-year-old man, and the non-fatal shooting of another man the afternoon of Nov 18, on Knodell Street in Detroit. 

A charging decision is not expected Friday.