Rasheen McClain, a 16 year veteran cop with Detroit PD was killed last week when he and his partner entered a home responding to a domestic violence situation. Officers knew the suspect was armed, but they made the conscious choice to enter the home.
Mayor Mike Duggan said McClain "was an officer that everyone looked up to, was a natural leader in every situation. And, in fact in this case, first one in the door, first one down the stairs to confront an armed suspect. His courage resulted in tragedy."
McClain and his partner responded to the call that an armed gunman had entered a home. Once officers arrived the occupants came running out and told them the suspect was in the home with an armed rifle. This same suspect (who had quite the long rap sheet and was paroled only months ago) had fired at the house only 2 weeks before after a fight with his girlfriend when a relative wouldn't let him enter. Officers called for backup and once they arrived the 4 officers entered the home and cleared the upper levels with flashlights. Can you imagine? Knowing there is an armed gunman somewhere in the home, but you don't know when or where you'll find him.
As the officers went down the stairs to the basement, the gunman came out and shot twice - hitting McClain who was coming down the stairs first in the neck and his partner in the leg. The other officers took cover and the gunman ran up the stairs past the officers he shot. As he left the home the other officers shot at him and he was hit in the arm. He was arrested a block away and taken to the hospital.
Tragedies like this keep happening, we keep losing officers who are doing good work protecting their cities and fellow officers. Officer McClain was married and was the father of 2 stepchildren. He will be greatly missed by his wife, stepkids, his family, his fellow officers, and all who knew him.
His sergeant says he brought joy to his work...and integrity. She recalls being pulled over by him and at first keeping her head down so he wouldn't recognize her. He said they'd pulled her over because her tags weren't on...and then proceeded to put them on for her just like he would have for any other citizen. She said he will miss his jokes and dancing between the rush of calls.
I can only imagine the situation and I am so grateful for people like Officer McClain who willingly put their safety aside to protect others. Who knowingly choose to enter situations like a dark house where a gunman is hiding. A place where everyone has run out, but now you are going in? I am grateful for all the spouses of police officers who know when their officer is headed out the door they may not come home, but they support them anyway. They also choose the protection of their city and people they don't even know. They are also heroes, they will carry the burden of his death the rest of their lives...long after the news has moved on.
We wear our gear-especially the blue line shirt-to honor all of them-those serving, and those standing with our officers. To let them know we see them and we appreciate them.