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Burglary led to shooting of two Detroit cops

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

An Easter Sunday shooting that left two Detroit police officers wounded started with a burglary, more burglary calls, and a grandfather's apparent desire to protect his family, Police Chief James Craig said Monday morning.

One officer remains hospitalized in critical condition following the shooting and one of three people initially taken into  custody remains under arrest as the investigation continues.

At a press conference near Sinai-Grace Hospital, where one of the wounded officers was in surgery after two pellets hit him in the face, Craig described  the incident that started with a burglary, several more 911 calls reporting burglaries, a grandfather's desire to protect his family, and ended with a 19-year-old man pulling the trigger after seeing flashlights shine into the window of the home on the 20500 block of Lesure.

Two officers from the 12th precinct responded to a reported burglary around 11:45 p.m. at a vacant home across the street on Lesure. The home from where the shot was ultimately fired had been burglarized on Thursday, Craig said, and on Sunday three calls of burglaries were made for assistance. One call was made earlier in the day, two others in close succession before the shooting -- one which referenced the "flashlights" that shone into the home, which was occupied by the 19-year old, his 14-year-old brother, and their mother.

Sometime between Thursday's burglary and the shooting, police believe, the grandfather of the boys provided a shotgun for the family's protection. That weapon is in police custody, Craig said.

That night, all three people in the home were taken into police custody, but only the alleged shooter, the 19-year-old, remains there.

Hit in the blast were two Detroit police officers, both 25. The officer struck in the face is a two-year veteran, while the officer hit by shrapnel from the shot has been with the department for 18 months. The second officer was treated and released early Monday morning, at which point he visited his wounded partner.

The 19-year-old, Craig said, is remorseful for his actions. What charges will result, if any, will by determined by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

"We've been in too many of these situations," Craig said, remarks that would be echoed minutes later by Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association.

"It seems we're here (at the hospital after a police officer is shot) all too often, and it's senseless," Diaz said. "This is a very strong reminder of what officers do every day."

20524 Lesure the house where two police were shot Sunday, Detroit, Mi. April 17, 2017, (Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News)

jdickson@detroitnews.com