Detroiter ID'd as suspect in police dog shooting

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Theoddeus R. Gray

St. Clair Shores — Police identified the man who was killed by police after allegedly shooting a police dog Sunday as a 29-year-old Detroit man.

Theoddeus Gray was killed in a shootout with police outside the Lakeland Manor banquet hall in St. Clair Shores, according to authorities.

ReadSuspect, K-9 officer killed in St. Clair Shores shootout

St. Clair Shores Police have turned the investigation into the officer-involved shooting to the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, they said.

Officials with the sheriff's office identified Gray as the suspect in the shooting. They also said they were not releasing further information until their investigation is completed.

On Sunday, St. Clair Shores Police said officers responded to reports of a man outside a banquet hall on Harper Avenue near 11 Mile just before 6:30 p.m. About 70 people were inside the hall at the time, according to authorities. 

The armed suspect allegedly ignored multiple commands from officers and fled the scene.

K9 officer Axe of the St. Clair Shores police department.

Axe, a police dog, was used to track the suspect, who shot the dog with a handgun, police said. Officers returned fire, striking the man, they said. 

The shooter and the K-9 officer died later, police said.

Gray has a previous conviction on drug charges in Wayne County, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. He served two years in prison and was released in May 2015, the department said. 

On Monday, St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby expressed his sadness about Axe's death on the city's official Facebook page.

"As Mayor of Saint Clair Shores, I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred here last night," he wrote. "We lost K9 Officer Axe, a dedicated member of The SCSPD.

"This is a blow to our department, particularly Axe’s partner, to whom Axe was not just a partner, but also family. Aside from being a police officer, Axe was an Ambassador to our community, and was beloved by all he came in contact with."

Walby asked people to pray for the city and its police officers.

Also, a couple of organizations have started fundraisers to help buy protective equipment for police dogs.

The Officer Collin Rose Memorial Fund started collecting donations Sunday and has pledged $7,500 toward an eventual replacement for Axe. The charity was started in 2017 to honor Wayne State University Police K-9 officer Collin Rose, who was killed in the line of duty Nov. 23, 2016.

"This donation is in addition to our fundraising campaign that will keep other working police dogs safe," Chris Powell, president of the foundation, said in an email. "As of now 8 dogs will be vested and another 20 dogs will have first aid bags."

In addition, a Gofundme page has been created in honor of the fallen police dog. The page aims to raise $950 to help pay for protective equipment for a police dog.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez