When Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson and his wife got a puppy year ago, he recalled asking Canine Officer Collin Rose for advice. He gladly obliged.
“We would see Collin around campus and we would get some reinforcement from him and ask him questions,” Wilson said. “He was always very kind with his time and instructions. ... We think fondly of the time we spent with Collin and the instructions that he gave us.”
Wilson was among the hundreds Tuesday to gather for a vigil to remember Rose, the university police officer who was shot Nov. 22 during a traffic stop and died a day later.
Earlier Tuesday, the Detroit Dog Rescue held a fundraiser at Tony V’s Tavern in support of Rose’s fiancee Nikki Salgot, a dog handler for the nonprofit.
“When one of us goes through a loss, the whole team goes through a loss,” said Kristina Rinaldi, executive director of DDR. “We wanted to make sure that she was supported, that she was financially OK and that she knew we were supporting her, that she could take some time off to grieve properly.”
Supporters ate pizza, drank beer and participated in a silent auction, all in support of Salgot. Among those represented were various police departments, residents from Woodbridge community, Wayne State students and faculty as well as a representative from Ferris State University, where Rose attended school.
Rose’s friend Patrick Hammill, a canine handler for the Wayne State University Police Department, sold black T-shirts that read “In Memory of Canine Officer Collin Rose.”
Hammill said that the two were fraternity brothers and roommates at one time.
“He was one of my best friends,” he said. “He always had a smile on his face. You couldn’t be upset around him. There was an aura around him.”
Hammill said Rose loved to train dogs, he loved people and he loved Salgot. “When he wasn’t training dogs or working, he was with his fiancee,” he said.
Hammill said that Monday was particularly tough for him. “He always called in service at 10 a.m. and if it was slow, we would do some canine training together,” he said. “Yesterday, for him to not call in service, it broke my heart.”
At 6:15 p.m. on the campus of Wayne State, hundreds participated in the vigil in near the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. Many held candles, hugged and wiped away tears.
There was a moment of silence at 6:31 p.m. to mark the time Rose was shot while attempting the traffic stop near Lincoln and Brainard. The man accused of killing Rose, DeAngelo Davis, 31, is charged with first-degree murder, murder of a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm, three felony firearm charges and being a habitual offender.
During the vigil, Wayne State police Chief Tony Holt issued Rose a citation for valor and promoted him to sergeant.
“Everyone who met Collin knew he was special,” he said. “Now the whole world knows.”
University President M. Roy Wilson said there will be a $25,000 endowed scholarship from his office in Rose’s name. Rose, who was studying for a master’s degree in police administration, is to be awarded a degree posthumously, Wilson said.
Holt said Rose was an eager candidate when he was hired five years ago and was an ideal officer. When hiring, Holt said he knows the kind of candidate to look for. “I’m looking for a Collin Rose,” he said.
Among the students who attended the vigil was Constanze Sabathil, 28. The German exchange student said she was in her dorm room when she heard helicopters after the shooting.
“It’s just so tragic because these men and women are really doing a great job risking their lives so we can feel safe,” said Sabathil, who became emotional as she spoke. “Especially when you’re from a different country. It’s so nice to know that you’re safe here. I can only imagine what his family and his fiancee are going through ... I wanted to pay my respects and thank the officers for doing a wonderful job.”
Meanwhile Tuesday, Detroit police released an image and video of a person they believe may have witnessed the shooting. In the surveillance video, a person is seen walking in the street, suddenly stopping and turning around after peeking around a corner. Anyone who recognizes the individual is asked to call the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 22415 Overlake, St. Clair Shores. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. before the Mass.
Staff Writer Nicquel Terry contributed.