By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A woman was shot and killed by Dearborn police Jan. 27 after she fled Fairlane Town Center, 18900 Michigan Ave.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death of Janet Wilson, 31, of Detroit a homicide due to the multiple gunshot wounds.
The incident began just after 4 p.m. when Wilson caused a disturbance and fled the mall after a security officer attempted to speak to her.
Police were then called to the scene when Wilson drove away in a black Chevrolet HHR almost hitting the mall security vehicle.
The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop near The Henry Hotel in the area of Hubbard Drive and the Southfield Service Drive. As the officer excited the vehicle, Wilson reportedly tried to run him over and leave the scene.
“The officers attempted a traffic stop on Hubbard at which time the suspect refused to stop and eventually became stuck in traffic,” Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said. “As officers approached the vehicle to arrest the driver, the driver again attempted to flee after clearing traffic and almost struck a police officer.”
The police officer drew his weapon and fired multiple shots at Wilson. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. A second officer suffered minor injuries.
MSP is conducting the investigation.
The fatal shooting was the second by Dearborn police in five weeks. Kevin Matthews, 35, was shot and killed by an officer Dec. 23 following a pursuit into Detroit and struggle.
The officer was placed on paid administrative leave. The Detroit Police Department is handling the investigation.
The group New Era Detroit has staged protests in Dearborn since Matthews’ death, and has demanded the still unnamed officer be fired.
The Dearborn Police Department released a statement Jan. 28 addressing both fatal shootings.
“The Dearborn Police Department is deeply saddened by the two officer involved fatal shooting incidents that have occurred over the past month,” the release read. “Both of the officer involved shooting incidents are being independently criminally investigated by outside agencies and we are totally committed to transparency and disclosure by fully cooperating with these investigations.
“Upon conclusion of the criminal investigations we will be conducting internal reviews on both of these incidents. While we are very proud of our long history of civil rights advocacy as well as our history of appropriate use of force, we will closely examine all of our policies and procedures to ensure that we are employing the latest training and following national best practices in all of our responsibilities to the community.”
“Once we are allowed and it is appropriate to do so, we fully intend to make public disclosures regarding these incidents. We remain committed to providing superior public safety services and appreciate the support during this most difficult time for our entire community.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)