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Officer Shoots, Critically Wounds Man Swinging Hatchet at Church

An off-duty officer attending church Sunday was called into service when a man wielding a hatchet showed up.

Witnesses aid an off-duty police officer fired multiple shots after a hatchet-wielding suspect knocked him to the ground at a Detroit church Sunday. The officer sustained minor leg wounds; the suspect's in critical condition. (Screenshot: WDIV video)
Witnesses aid an off-duty police officer fired multiple shots after a hatchet-wielding suspect knocked him to the ground at a Detroit church Sunday. The officer sustained minor leg wounds; the suspect's in critical condition. (Screenshot: WDIV video)

The serenity of Sunday worship services was shattered when an off-duty policeman shot and wounded a man who showed up at the Citadel of Praise church on Detroit’s west side with a hatchet and attacked him.

The police officer shot the suspect, a 27-year-old man, after leaving  services at the church in 202000 block of Lyndon St., where he worships, about 11:35 a.m. to investigate the cause of the disturbance outside.

He tried to calm the man  get him to drop the hatchet, The Detroit News report, and the suspect began go swing the hatchet at the officer, striking him multiple times in the legs.

Witnesses told WJBK, Channel 2, that the officer fired about eight shots after he was knocked to the ground by the suspect, who they described as angry.

The officer “had to do what he had to do,” witness Shyrome Williams Sr. told the television station. “You would think you are safe at a church.”

The officer wasn’t seriously injured. The blows he sustained were not with the blade end of the hatchet.

The suspect, who is believed to be mentally ill, was in critical condition Monday, a police spokesperson said.

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