Suspect in Mich. officer's slaying found dead

AP News
Posted: Sep 10, 2012 8:32 PM
Suspect in Mich. officer's slaying found dead

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A former auto executive suspected of gunning down an officer who responded to a trouble call in an affluent Detroit suburb was found dead inside his house Monday evening, police said.

Police had been surrounding the home of Rickey Coley since Sunday night, when an officer was shot to death while responding to a report of a possible suicide attempt or medical emergency.

Police used construction equipment to tear a hole in a second-floor wall of the home Monday afternoon, then sent in a robot to look for the suspect, West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste. The robot found Coley's body on a bed, surrounded by knives and other weapons, she said.

It was not immediately clear if Coley took his own life, said police Lt. Tim Diamond.

During the standoff, police and Coley exchanged hundreds of rounds of gunfire, Ureste said. About 15 families had to be evacuated.

"It's been a very long night, a very long day," she said.

Coley, 50, was having legal and financial problems in his business and was recently divorced.

Police sent a team about 10 p.m. Sunday after getting a 911 call that Coley had tried to kill himself or needed medical attention, Diamond said. Officers called Coley's name as they climbed the stairs to the second floor and were met by shots, Diamond said.

Officer Pat O'Rourke was one of four or five officers who responded to the call. He was killed when shots were fired through a bedroom door and wall, police said.

Coley was alone in the house Monday afternoon. Before authorities sent in the piece of construction equipment, Diamond said the Oakland County sheriff's department was "trying to persuade this guy into a peaceful resolution."

Records show Coley headed a private equity company, CNC Holdings.

The U.S. Labor Department recently filed a lawsuit accusing Coley of mishandling money that was supposed to cover employee insurance at a Bad Axe, Mich., trucking company, Translogic Auto Carriers, which has been controlled by CNC since 2008.

The lawsuit says Coley also transferred $342,000 from Translogic to himself or his affiliates. Creditors forced Translogic into bankruptcy court in 2010.

Diamond said relatives called 911 and fled Coley's home Sunday after hearing shots.

O'Rourke, a West Bloomfield officer for 12 years, was married and had four children. In a memo to fellow officers, Lt. Curt Lawson said a "scene can turn in unexpected ways," despite the best training and preparation.

A vigil for the officer is planned for 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, the township supervisor said. West Bloomfield is a high-income community of 65,000, about 15 miles northwest of Detroit.


Associated Press writers David Runk, Ed White and David N. Goodman in Detroit contributed to this report.