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Center Line mental patient threatens to kill cops

George Hunter
The Detroit News

A Center Line mental health patient is in custody after officers found 12 rifles and six pistols in his house during a search warrant Friday prompted by his alleged threat to kill cops.

A citizen phoned police and reported the man told him he “wanted to do something big like in Dallas,” an apparent reference to the July 7 incident in which a sniper killed five police officers and wounded seven more people, Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green said Saturday.

“He was in a mental health discussion group, and he commented during a session that he wanted to kill a bunch of police officers,” Green said. “The third party then reported it to police.

“We (Warren Police) did a traffic stop and then executed a search warrant of his house,” Green said. “We found a large number of guns and he was taken into custody. He was committed to a mental health facility.”

Green said Center Line police also are investigating the alleged threat by the man whose name is being withheld by The Detroit News because he has not yet been arraigned.

Police departments across the country are on high alert after several officers have been shot in the two weeks since the Dallas sniper attack by Army veteran Micah Xavier Johnson.

Three Baton Rouge police officers were killed Sunday in what police say was an ambush by Gavin Long, a former U.S. Marine. A Kansas City officer was killed Tuesday, followed by Thursday’s nonfatal shooting of a Chicago cop.

Tensions between police and citizens ramped up after cell phone videos surfaced earlier this month showing portions of incidents that resulted in police officers killing citizens in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

A more recent video emerged last week showing a North Miami police officer shooting a man who was on the ground with his hands up. The man, a behavior therapist who is expected to recover from his injuries, was reportedly trying to protect an autistic patient.

The shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge were in retaliation for the videotaped incidents, according to police.

“The threat against police officers is very real,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Saturday. Detroit police two weeks ago arrested four men for allegedly making Facebook threats. One of the men reportedly posted: “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter. Kill all white cops.”

Detroit Police on July 14 submitted warrant requests to Wayne County prosecutors, seeking charges of using the internet to make threats, a two-year felony. Prosecutors said they’re reviewing the requests.

“I’m hoping prosecutors across the country realize these threats should be taken seriously in this environment,” Craig said. “We need to send a unified message that these threats will be dealt with.”

ghunter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN