Sunday evening, September 9th, is when one West Bloomfield police officer lost his life after responding to a “shots fired” call at a residence in the 4000 block of Forest Edge Lane in West Bloomfield Township. 39-year-old Patrick O’Rourke was met by gunfire at approximately 10 p.m. After being taken to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac, O’Rourke died. Married and a father of four, O’Rourke was the first police officer to lose his life in the department’s history. Following the shooting, several officers were involved in a standoff with the suspect; for more than 12 hours, gunfire was exchanged as the suspect remained inside a bedroom at the residence.
Police first believed they were heading to the residence to assist a suicidal man; upon their arrival, police called the man’s name, who then began firing shots through the bedroom door and walls, according to West Bloomfield Township Police Lt. Timothy Diamond. Diamond stated in news reports that the officers were somewhat ambushed after calling out to the suspect to ask if he needed help.
As of Monday morning, it is believed that the suspected gunman remains inside the home; some residents of Forest Edge Lane have been evacuated. News reports state that police believe he remains in the residence, and has fired at least 50 gunshots throughout the ordeal. Police also suspect that the gunman possesses an Uzi submachine gun among other weapons. Township officials intend to send in an armored vehicle in the hopes it will put an end to the tragic standoff.
O’Rourke, the officer who was fatally shot, became an officer in 2000 and was described as “a model police officer and a good family man.” According to Diamond, neighboring police departments have shown up to assist with the situation, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team is taking over the scene. Police are still investigating the shooter’s background and so far have no motive for the shooting saying that they do not know what set the suspect off.
While there are a lot of questions still to be answered in this unfortunate situation, Michigan criminal defense lawyers know that until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, those suspected of a criminal offense are innocent.
If you have been arrested for any serious criminal offense, you may face life-changing consequences if convicted, including jail/prison time, substantial fines and a permanent criminal record. Consult with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney at once for the best possible outcome.