DETROIT (AP) — Detroit officers have seized more than 500 guns since June 22, the police chief said Monday as he defended the fatal shooting of an armed man after a high-speed chase and described an “uptick in violence” in the city.
“We have not seen the number of handguns that we’re seeing now,” Chief James Craig said.
His comments came after he played a video of a fatal police shooting last Thursday involving a man who ran after a car crashed into a tree. The man, one of three inside the vehicle, was pointing a gun at an officer when he was shot once, the video revealed.
Police were investigating the shooting of four teenagers and pursued the car because suspects were inside, Craig said.
“They did just as we asked them to do,” the chief said of the officers. “They clearly were putting themselves in harm’s way to resolve this matter before anyone else got hurt.”
Separately, Craig said police Sunday night shot an armed man who was suspected of selling drugs outside a gas station. He survived.
Detroit police seized 537 illegally possessed firearms over a recent four-week period and arrested more than 400 people, Craig said.
“It’s no secret that Detroit like so many other cities has seen an uptick in violence,” he said.
Craig believes the reasons include low bail for crime suspects and the release of people from jail during the coronavirus pandemic.