Royal Oak — A domestic violence incident that allegedly started with a 20-year-old Royal Oak man stabbing his mother and hitting his father in the head with a guitar ended in the man’s death in an officer-involved shooting early Monday, police said.

Royal Oak Police Department identified the victim as Cody Reynolds. He was 20.

Reynolds’ death is the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Royal Oak in as many months. The April 10 shooting of  Antonino Thomas Gordon outside of a White Castle restaurant in the city remains under investigation. 


Royal Oak police dash cam video shows 20-year-old Cody Reynolds getting down on the pavement, then getting up and charging toward a police officer, who shoots five times, killing him. Royal Oak Police

The stabbing and guitar strike took place at 3:11 a.m. on the 1000 block of Hoffman at Reynolds’ home.

An officer saw Reynolds walking in the area minutes after the call came in, got out of his patrol car, and ordered him to stop.

Reynolds said he had stabbed his mother. The officer ordered him to the ground. He complied initially, “but then quickly rushed towards the officer in an aggressive manner.”

The officer pulled his gun and fired, striking Reynolds, then administered first aid as EMS was alerted to the scene, police said. Medics transported him to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital where he died. The shooting happened on Hudson near South Wilson, which is around the corner from the family’s home, and is north of Interstate 696 and west of Campbell. 

Dash cam video of the confrontation, released hours after the shooting, shows an officer pull up to the scene to find Reynolds standing near a dark vehicle.

Reynolds approaches the officer and is told to put his hands up. He ignores the order and steps toward the officer, and is again told to put his hands up, which he did. The officer orders him to get on the ground, which he does briefly before popping back up and approaching the officer, running toward him.

The officer then fired five shots.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said the suspect was not armed, but that there’s no way the officer could have known that at the time.

The officer has been with the department roughly “four to six years,” O’Donohue said. The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. 

“If someone is willing to assault their parents, they’d be willing to assault anybody,” O’Donohue said.

Reynolds was on probation for a 2017 drunken driving incident on Woodward Avenue, a wrong-way crash in which there were serious injuries.

The only two people to die at another person’s hands this year in Royal Oak have died in confrontations with police, O’Donohue confirmed. 

“The public should be critical of how we respond,” he said. 

But it shouldn’t affect the way they view the city, he said, which has seen drops in violent crime and will, later Monday, honor 13 officers for saving lives.

“Things are very good in Royal Oak,” O’Donohue said.

The department has 79 sworn officers and is down at least two, who are on administrative leave after fatal shootings.

Royal Oak police do not wear body cameras, and Monday O’Donohue said he saw no need for them, as officers do wear transmitters that record audio but not video. He described the problem with body cameras as one of data storage.

O’Donohue began the press conference by offering condolences to the Reynolds family, and later offered thoughts to the officer who fired the fatal shots. At least four shell casings were found at the scene.

“No officer wants to go through this,” O’Donohue said. “This is a terrible thing.”

Reynolds’ parents were also transported to the hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office will investigate the shooting.

Monday's shooting is the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Metro Detroit in as many days. Early Sunday morning, a 38-year-old Redford Township man was spotted carrying a long gun on Telegraph at Warren by a Dearborn Heights police officer. After an "exchange of words," the officer, who has less than five years on the job, fired shots, killing the man.

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