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Detroit police officer fatally shot investigating home invasion on city's west side

Detroit Police Department
Officer Rasheen McClain, 46, was identified as the Detroit police officer killed Wednesday night by an armed home invader.

Update: Detroit Police Chief James Craig has identified the deceased officer as Rasheen McClain, 46, a 16-year DPD veteran working out of the city's 12th precinct.

Craig called McClain's death a "heartbreaking day" for the Detroit Police Department.

McClain was "a  leader. Very tactical, very much about doing a great job," said Craig, adding that the slain officer made a “conscious decision that it was time to go in and deal with a very dangerous situation.”

McClain and his partner, Phillippe Batoum-Visse, were shot by an armed suspect as they descended into the basement of the west side Detroit home the suspect had invaded, supposedly in search of an ex-girlfriend. Batoum-Visse was shot in the leg and is expected to recover from his wounds, Craig said.

Craig did not release the identity of the suspect, saying only that he was a 28-year-old with a long criminal history, who had been recently paroled after serving an 8-year prison sentence. The suspect was shot by other officers after shooting McClain and Batoum-Visse and attempting to escape from the home; he was later transported to the hospital and is in temporary serious condition, Craig.

“It was very clear that this suspect was trying to bait the officers," said Craig, who reviewed McClain's body camera footage of events. "He had a presence of mind. But also what was clear--he wanted suicide by cop, just based on his actions.”

“We’ve had far too many of these [police deaths], and each one gets even more painful," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "And I’m always struck by the fact that we seem to lose the best of our officers to these tragedies.”

Thursday 11/21/2019, 7:05 a.m.: A Detroit police officer was shot to death and another was wounded while responding to a home invasion on the city's west side.

Police Chief James Craig says the officers were searching for a suspect when they were shot late Wednesday. He addressed the media Wednesday night.

Craig says an 18-year police veteran was fatally shot in the neck with a high-powered rifle. A second 3-year police veteran was shot in the leg. Neither was identified.

At least one officer returned fire, wounding the suspect. The wounded officer and suspect were taken to a hospital. Their conditions weren't immediately known.

Craig says the suspect had entered the home looking for his girlfriend.

The chief says the home's occupants fled as officers arrived and warned them that the suspect inside was armed.

The officers were shot as they descended stairs from the second floor.

Update: This article was updated on 11/21/2019 at 4:50 p.m. to identify the slain officer as Officer Rasheen McClain, and add additional comments from Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Mayor Mike Duggan.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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