Ex-suspect in WSU cop’s shooting released from jail

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Hours after an announcement Wednesday that murder charges were dismissed against her son in the shooting death of a Wayne State University officer — and before he walked out of jail later that evening — DeAngelo Davis’ mother said she already knew what the detectives and others had just discovered.

“My son is innocent,” Valerie Davis said. “He didn’t do it. He was just a scapegoat.”

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, along with Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt, announced DeAngelo Davis has been “eliminated as a suspect in the case” of Collin Rose’s shooting death.

Judge Deborah Nance Adams dismissed the charges, according to Worthy’s office, and Davis was released from jail Wednesday evening, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.

Valerie Davis said there is possible video, from business surveillance cameras, of her son in a store or Coney Island restaurant during the time the K-9 handler was shot in the head around 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22 in the area of Lincoln and Brainard near Davis’ home on Selden. The shooting occurred on the edge of the Woodbridge neighborhood off Trumbull and Grand River.

“He was not the culprit,” said Valerie Davis, who sat in a friend’s car waiting in the afternoon for information to go and get her son from jail once he is released. “People who had it out for him turned him in. He told me before (the arrest) he didn’t do it.”

At a 4-minute press conference in the morning, Worthy, Craig and Holt took no questions from the media and didn’t say what convinced them they had the wrong person in the crime.

DeAngelo Davis’ attorney, Nicole James, said law enforcement officials “dropped the ball” in the case and needlessly vilified her client.

“The murder of Sgt. Rose was a tragic loss to the community and law enforcement, but it was also wrong to snatch Mr. DeAngelo Davis off the street and try this case in the media despite a lack of evidence connecting him to the crime,” James said in a statement she released Wednesday while working on getting him released from jail.

“The rush to judgment by the Detroit Police Department, Wayne State Public Safety and the Prosecutor’s Office resulted in Mr. Davis being vilified and his reputation sullied by both the national and local media. As a former assistant prosecutor in Wayne County for more than 15 years I respect the role the police have in our community, but I also respect the criminal process.”

Worthy said police and her office have been working “diligently and literally, literally around the clock” on the case.

“We remain deeply committed to making sure that justice is done in this case ... to make sure the perpetrators ... the killers of Officer (Collin) Rose are brought to justice,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Worthy’s office said Rose’s family “was personally informed that the investigation is ongoing, and know that members of law enforcement are working very hard to find the person who murdered Sgt. Rose.”

Efforts to reach Rose’s fiance and parents were not successful.

Said Holt: “I am confident that the correct suspect will be brought to justice.”

Authorities have released a video of a man who might have witnessed the murder and are asking the public’s help in identifying the individual. The man is seen on the video walking briskly away from where the shooting took place.

The reward leading to information in the case has been increased to $15,000, Craig said. A third of the reward money was donated by Detroit Dog Rescue where Rose’s fiance is on staff. The remaining money came from a donation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Craig encouraged anyone with information about the killing to call the (800) SPEAK UP tipline as well as (888) ATF TIPS.

“Because we made an arrest the investigation did not stop,” Craig said. “It continues. It continues to this day.”

Police sources have told The Detroit News Tuesday night that Worthy was expected to drop the charges.

Rose, 29, was shot in the head Nov. 22 while investigating thefts from vehicles. He’s the only Wayne State officer killed in the line of duty.

“My client and I, like the rest of the community are saddened by the death of Wayne State University Public Safety Officer Sgt. Collin Rose,” James said. “As a daughter of a veteran Detroit Police Officer I understand and appreciate how they risk their lives protecting our community.”

Police arrested Davis, 31, Nov. 25. He had been charged with first-degree murder, felony firearm, murder of a police officer, felony firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.

Hundreds, including officers from around the country, were among the mourners paying their last respects to the fallen officer Nov. 30 at a St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores.


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