Detroit police officer struck in Aug. 4 hit-and-run dies

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Fadi Shukur

Detroit Police Officer Fadi Shukur who died Wednesday after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run nearly two weeks ago "had a magnetic smile," Police Chief James Craig said.

"He'll always be remembered for his magnetic smile," Craig said. "He would light a room up."

The chief made the remarks Wednesday during a news conference at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters downtown. He was joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other city and police officials.

"Certainly in his short time (on the force), he made a difference," Craig said. "It's another dark day."

Duggan said funeral arrangements for the officer are forthcoming.

"Everyone's heart is broken in the city for a good man, a newlywed," the mayor said. "Our prayers are with his family."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, (r), stands with Detroit Police Chief James Craig at a press conference over the death of Detroit Police Officer Fadi Shukur who died August 15 after a hit-and-run August 4.

Shukur, 30, was struck by a car at about 2:40 a.m. Aug. 4 in the 18000 block of West McNichols near Stahelin Avenue on the city's west side, officials said. He was walking to his car after helping other Detroit police officers from the eighth precinct respond to a crowd control situation in the area.

Craig said officers were in the area to prevent any incidents or traffic accidents as a vigil spilled onto the street from a hall.

Read moreDriver accused of striking Detroit officer in custody

Shukur, who had been on the force for about a year and a half, suffered a brain injury and remained hospitalized in critical condition since the accident.

Officer Fadi Shukur's sister, Anita Banks, center, records the August 18, 2017 Detroit Police graduation while sitting with her father, Zia Hanna, second from left, and other family members.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has charged a Belleville man in the hit-and-run.

Jonathan David Cole, 19, was formally charged Aug. 7 with reckless driving causing serious impairment and failure to stop at the scene of an accident, resulting in serious impairment, officials said.

The charges were amended Wednesday following Shukur's death to second-degree murder, reckless driving causing death and failure to stop at a scene of an accident when at fault resulting in death. He faces a penalty of up to life in prison if convicted on the second-degree murder charge. 

Cole is expected to be arraigned by video in 36th District Court at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Police said Cole fled the scene, but later turned himself in at a Detroit Police precinct and has been in custody since then. Investigators located his vehicle in Belleville after he surrendered.

Read moreMan charged in hit-and-run of Detroit police officer

Duggan said Shukur's death is a reminder of the dangers the Detroit Police Department's officers face every day.

"One of the heart-breaking things about all of this is Shukur and his fellow officers were doing what they're supposed to do," the mayor said. "Officer Shukur died a hero. He was out preventing an incident from potentially happening. Fadi Shukur died protecting the city."

Shukur is the fourth Detroit Police officer who has died in the last eight months. Craig said he is the third officer killed in the line of duty this year.

Last month, officer James Hearn, 27, a four-year veteran of the force, died in a crash on the city's west side while off-duty.

Officer Darren Weathers, 25, died during a training exercise in February. He was critically injured in a traffic accident after running a red light, crashing into another vehicle and hitting a wall on Clark Street near Michigan Avenue. Weathers was assigned to the department's Integrity Unit, which investigates allegations against police officers.

The same month, officer Glenn Doss, also 25, died after being shot while responding to a domestic violence call on Jan. 25 at a home in the 5500 block of McDougall, near Interstate 94 and Chene Street.

The city will be covering the costs of his funeral. In March, the Detroit City Council passed a resolution that authorizes the city to cover $12,000 in funeral expenses for employees who die in the line of duty, and the city has made arrangements through donors to cover expenses beyond the $12,000.

On Wednesday, the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation, named in honor of slain Wayne State University Police Department officer Collin Rose, announced on its Facebook page that it is collecting donations for Shukur's widow.

Rose was a K-9 handler for the Wayne State University Police Department. He was fatally shot Nov. 22, 2016, while on duty. The suspect in his death, who also shot and wounded two Detroit police officers, was found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez