Gunman killed in shootout at Michigan police station was troubled vet

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Southfield, MI, United States (4E) – A 64-year-old man who walked into a Michigan police station Sunday afternoon and opened fire, was a military veteran in poor health and facing some issues.

Police revealed Monday that Harold Joseph Collins, from Southfield, was killed in a shootout with officers at police headquarters Sunday. An officer was also wounded in the incident.

Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said Collins, holding a .380-caliber handgun, arrived at the police station with a blank look on his face and attempted to shoot an officer behind bulletproof glass.

Hawkins stated the suspect reached the front desk officer and just stared into the distance without saying anything.

After the gun failed to discharge, other officers immediately confronted the shooter and ordered him several times to drop his weapon.

The suspect refused, and pointed the weapon at the officers.

After the exchange of gunfire, a 50-year-old police sergeant was found shot in the shoulder while the gunman, who was shot several times, was killed.

Hawkins described Collins as a military veteran with seemingly poor physical health and with possible psychological problems.

He said that “Based on the behavior of this individual, in my opinion and in the opinion of investigating officers, the man was struggling with some very serious internal issues.”

“We can only speculate, but obviously, yesterday was Veterans Day and we know this person was a veteran,” Hawkins added.

The gunman’s motive remains unknown and he had no known criminal record.

A former stepdaughter, Seretha Nobles, told the Detroit News on Monday that Collins has been suffering from throat cancer for many years.

She said “He couldn’t speak, he can’t talk.”

The gunman’s 2010 Dodge was later impounded for evidence. Investigators will also search Collin’s home for clues.

The unidentified injured officer, who was admitted in a hospital, is expected to be released later Monday or Tuesday.

All officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave per department policy pending an investigation.

Hawkins said that surveillance cameras in the lobby will be reviewed.

The Oakland County sheriff’s department is investigating the case while the Southfield Police Department will be doing an internal investigation to make sure that correct procedures were followed.

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