Suspect fatally shot by police following arson at Dearborn mosque

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Dearborn — Dearborn police fatally shot a suspect overnight Friday after he allegedly started a fire at a mosque and fired at officers in an incident that initially started in Detroit, the chief told The Detroit News.

At 1:18 a.m. Saturday, Dearborn officers on patrol observed a fire at the Al-Huda Islamic Association, located at 8835 Warren Ave. on the city's northeast side.

AI-Huda Islamic Association

When officers responded to the fire, they encountered an armed man at the scene who appeared to have shot at the officers, the department said. The officers pursued the armed suspect southbound along Lonyo Avenue.

From there, the suspect allegedly fired at the officers as they instructed him to drop the firearm. The officers returned fire, fatally striking the suspect. No officers were injured.

Dearborn Chief of Police Issa Shahin told The News the incident stemmed from a shooting in Detroit.

Shahin said the incident was not caused by a firebomb, but that a fire was started from inside of the mosque.

A joint task force including the Detroit Police Department and Michigan State Police are investigating the incident, which reached outside Dearborn city limits.

“This was a tragic incident for our faith community and the Dearborn community overall that unfortunately led to a loss of life," said Shahin, newly-appointed police chief of the city. "I commend our officers for responding with the utmost professionalism and courage to protect the community from imminent danger."

The American Human Rights Council issued a statement condemning what it called the "arson attack" at the mosque and commending the 'swift action" taken by authorities.

“This kind of violence we saw at al Huda reinforces the reality that we have a domestic terrorism/ violence problem,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “The response of the police and the fire department is testament to the heroism and dedication of our law enforcement and fire fighters who put their lives on the line for us, every day," concluded Hamad.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department. 

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_