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Detroit Police officer, suspected shooter killed by gunfire

Detroit Police Chief James White, in uniform, speaks into microphones at night at a press conference. A reporter is behind him.
Detroit Police Department
Detroit Police Chief James White shared details about the shooting Wednesday night.

A shootout on Detroit’s west side Wednesday evening left a Detroit police officer and an alleged gunman dead.

Detroit Police Chief James White says officers were responding to a man with a semi-automatic firearm shooting indiscriminately near Joy Road and Hubbell Street. Detroit Police Officer Loren Courts, a five-year veteran of the department, was struck by gunfire and killed. Another officer shot and killed the alleged gunman.

“The officers arrived within minutes at 7:30 [p.m.] to the officer upon his arrival, immediately took fire from the subject who was armed with a Draco assault rifle," White said. "Sadly, the officer was struck and succumbed to his injuries.”

White says officers have faced too many shootings this year. The incident comes amid a recent string of mass shootings across the country, including on the Fourth of July when multiple people were killed and many others were wounded in Highland Park at a holiday parade.

“Regardless of where you stand, what side of the political aisle you’re on this issue of gun violence, it’s entirely too much gun violence in this city,” White said. “Too much gun violence in this country, and now we’ve got an officer who has paid the ultimate sacrifice, putting his life on the line for you and me.”

Violent crime in Detroit has ticked upwards over the past two years but is still at historical lows, especially when compared to the 1980s. According to police reports, Detroit has seen more than 380 non-fatal shootings so far this year and more than 120 homicides. Detroit police shot at suspects in seven incidents this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. In May, two teenagers were charged with shooting at DPD officers from a moving car.

“I’ve got a family that’s grieving. This did not have to happen. How do you tell a mom and a child what I just had to tell them? It’s outrageous,” White said.

Courts leaves behind a wife of 11 years and two children.

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