Detroit police Officer Patrick Hill, who died Saturday after being comatose since April, was likely shot by a fellow police officer amid a flurry of bullets during a standoff with a murder suspect, Police Chief James Craig told the Detroit News earlier this week.
Craig said he’s ordering a review of how his officers are trained. He said the way officers “boxed in” the suspect’s vehicle following a high-speed chase on the city’s west side is not departmental policy.
Hill was part of a special anti-crime task force. The incident occurred April 2 after officers, including Hill, executed a traffic stop on the driver of a silver Dodge Magnum. The driver, murder suspect and convicted armed robber Matthew Joseph, 24, did not comply, police said.
A two-mile chase ensued until two squad cars boxed in Joseph’s car.
Seconds after Detroit Police Sgt. Jeffrey Pacholski got out of his vehicle, Joseph opened fire, striking him twice in the leg and barely missing hitting his torso, Detroit Assistant Police Chief Eric Jones said.
“The officer we believe fired the shot (that killed Hill) feared for the sergeant’s life, so he fired on the suspect,” Jones said.
A pellet from that officer’s shotgun blast skipped off the suspect’s car and struck Hill in the head, Craig said.
“This is a tragedy,” Craig said. “Every officer involved in this incident is a hero.”