DETROIT (WXYZ) — Another day, another standoff in Detroit. But this one had a very different outcome than what we’ve reported on too much lately.
Detroit Police Department Chief James White went into the home himself and talked with the alleged gunman, bringing him out without firing any more shots.
White said earlier Thursday that a high percentage of the time that these kinds of situations end peacefully and they don’t get the recognition. That’s not the case Thursday, with the chief setting an example by negotiating with the alleged gunman face to face.
“My understanding is that he’s frustrated, and no one has listened to him, and my commitment is I’m going to listen to him,” White said.
White did just that.
The man was holed up inside a home on the city’s west side after allegedly killing a neighbor in the street, kicking off hours of negotiations.
The barricaded man’s nephew pleaded for him to come out.
“We’re looking to get you whatever support you need,” said Charles Lackey, the nephew of the alleged shooter.
“I have full confidence in the Detroit Police Department that they will do what’s necessary to make sure that what processes need to be followed are followed, so a great leader in the department,” Lackey continued.
That leader, White, who is trained in mental health counseling, went in the home himself to talk with the man.
“I was listening to the sergeant tell him, Sgt. Wilson here, that today’s a new day. It’s already happened, let’s move forward. And that’s when he said, 'Well, no one is listening. I want the chief to listen to me.' And she said, 'Chief, he wants to talk to you' and that’s what we did,” White recalled.
White emerged from the home, walking and talking with the suspect, bringing the standoff to an end and giving credit to his team, thankful the resolution to this standoff was peaceful.
“If for not this negotiating team establishing that rapport and building that trust with him, he was prepared to take his own life and potentially shoot it out with us,” White said. “He’s going to have to deal with the obvious homicide, but he’s going to get the stabilization that he needs from a mental health perspective.”
“I feel pretty good. I feel like the Lions when they beat Chicago last week. We needed this win,” White added.
The chief was grateful but also gave his condolences. It should not be lost that a man lost his life when this situation started.