Man killed by police while stabbing girlfriend had long criminal record

Dearborn — A 43-year-old man who was killed Sunday by a Dearborn police officer who reportedly shot him while he was stabbing his girlfriend had a lengthy criminal record before absconding from parole last week. 

James Lukasiewicz had 10 felonies on his record and was on parole for a 2015 conviction in Livingston County for home invasion and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer when he absconded from the Oakland County parole office four days before he was killed.

James Lukasiewicz

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said at a press conference Sunday that officers were dispatched Sunday morning to a distress call at an apartment building on the 22000 block of Park in Dearborn.

Police had responded to a domestic violence run at the building the previous evening, but by the time officers arrived, the man who'd been reportedly threatening residents was gone, the chief said.

Haddad said when his officers arrived at the building Sunday morning, they heard a woman's cries for help and forced their way into the apartment, where they found the suspect in the bathroom stabbing his 39-year-old girlfriend.

A 15-year veteran Dearborn officer opened fire, killing Lukasiewicz.

"Our officers relied on their training and did what they were supposed to do this morning," Haddad said. Haddad did not return a phone call Tuesday.

Bloodstains still mar the carpet and wall on the second floor of the apartment building where Lukasiewicz and his girlfriend shared a unit. Residents who live in nearby apartments said they heard Lukasiewicz screaming "if I can't have you, nobody will," moments before police arrived.

The victim, a 39-year-old female, was reporting to 911 she was being stabbed.

Authorities have not identified the victim in the case. But The Detroit News reached a woman who identified herself as the victim's mother — whose identity was also confirmed by neighbors. She was willing to speak on the condition of anonymity for the safety of her family.

The mother of the victim confirmed Lukasiewicz told his girlfriend he was going to kill her so nobody else could have her.

After police breached the door to Apartment 12 and shot Lukasiewicz, his girlfriend stumbled out of the apartment and slumped at the end of the corridor until emergency medical technicians carried her to an ambulance, residents said.

The woman was still hospitalized Tuesday, her mother said.

"She’s still not out of the woods, and it’s going to be a long, long road," the woman's mother said, adding her daughter was stabbed in the face, neck and torso, and is suffering from a collapsed lung. 

"Her saving grace was that the knife he used wasn't too sharp, so it didn't go through her throat. But she's worried about scars where he cut her face."

Neighbors and the woman's mother said Lukasiewicz often fought with his girlfriend, and that police had been called to their building several times in recent months. At his press conference, Haddad said officers had been dispatched to the building on multiple domestic violence runs.

"She's been victimized by him for years," the woman's mother said. "It's a shame there aren't more resources to help these victims of domestic violence. It's a nightmare. Her name was on the (apartment) lease, but he lived with her. She'd kick him out, and then take him back."

The victim had recently kicked Lukasiewicz out of her apartment when he returned Saturday night making threats, her mother said. When he returned Sunday, he took the threats to the next level, she said.

Haddad said earlier the officer who shot Lukasiewicz will most likely be placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation is pursued. 

Michigan State Police also are investigating the incident. MSP 1st Lt. Michael Shaw said Tuesday there were no updates on the probe.

Lukasiewicz had a long criminal history dating to 2002, when he was arrested for cocaine possession.

In addition to the conviction for which he was most recently on parole, Lukasiewicz had four convictions for drug possession, two home invasion convictions, two larceny convictions, and a conviction for operating a vehicle while impaired. He violated parole in 2004, Michigan Department of Corrections records show.

After his conviction in Livingston County on the 2015 home invasion and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer charges, Lukasiewicz served nearly four years in prison before being granted parole in November 2019, according to Michigan Department of Corrections spokeswoman Joelle Craddy.

"He was last seen by his agent on September 18th and was listed as an absconder on September 23rd," Craddy said in an email.

The mother of Lukasiewicz's stabbing victim said she's doing what she can to help her daughter heal.

"I hope your daughter is never the victim of domestic violence," she said. "What he did to her physically, emotionally and emotionally is just terrible. I have to keep reassuring her that she's OK."