$1 for 3 months. Save 97%.
$1 for 3 months. Save 97%.

Attorney: 2nd autopsy for man in fatal police shooting

The Detroit News
The White Castle on 13 Mile and Coolidge where the shooting took place was closed Wednesday.

The attorney representing the family of Antonino Thomas Gordon, the 28-year-old man fatally shot Tuesday night by a Royal Oak police officer, said Gordon's body will be autopsied independently.

Joseph Dedvukaj, the attorney representing the family and whose niece was married to Gordon, said the man's body has been taken into family custody. 

The Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office has already performed an autopsy following his shooting death Tuesday. 

The medical examiner’s office said Gordon died of gunshot wounds, and his manner of death is a homicide. Casimir Miarka, an administrator at the office, declined further comment, as the full report has not yet been completed.

Antonino Gordon

An officer attempted to pull over Gordon around 6:10 p.m. Tuesday near 13 Mile and Woodward, Royal Oak police said in a statement Tuesday.   

On Wednesday, Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said Gordon stopped and an officer approached the vehicle and tapped on the driver-side window to get him to roll it down. 

“Instead, the driver sped off into the White Castle lot," O'Donohue said. 

The driver eluded the officer after driving out onto Coolidge and the officer remained in the area. About 15 minutes after the initial stop, the officer spotted the vehicle in the drive-through lane.

Gordon backed into a vehicle behind it in line and then struck the patrol car to drive away, O'Donohue said. 

it was during that incident that the officer fired his weapon, O’Donohue said.

Gordon was wounded and drove west on 13 Mile before collapsing and losing control of his car and striking another vehicle.

Dedvukaj said that Gordon was shot once in the chest and once in his arm. He also said a window in the back part of the vehicle was shot out.

Dedvukaj said it was inappropriate for Royal Oak Police Department to release information on Gordon while not disclosing the identity of the officer involved. 

Royal Oak police did not return calls for comment Thursday.  The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has said it won’t comment further until the investigation is complete.

Gordon had arrests for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant of $75,000, police said. In addition, his driver’s license was revoked in April 2017, according to state Department of Motor Vehicles records.

Dedvukaj said he still has not been given a copy of the police report, or the officer’s name.

The attorney also said Gordon's criminal history is irrelevant.

“He didn’t have his name written on his forehead,” Dedvukaj said. And even had police known his criminal record, and of the warrant out for his arrest, Dedvukaj said: “This is not a capital state, where you can execute someone. His warrants had nothing to do with this incident.”

Nor, Dedvukaj said, does an attempt to flee justify a fatal shooting.

“If that was the case, why didn’t they shoot him the first time?” he asked. “If this officer is not held accountable, it sends a message that it’s OK to conduct yourself in this way.”