WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A former auto executive facing business and family troubles fired on police responding to a call at his home in a wealthy Detroit suburb, killing one officer and sparking a 20-hour siege that ended with the suspect dead amid a weapons-strewn bedroom.
“It’s been a very long night, a very long day,” West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste said Monday evening after the standoff ended with the discovery of Ricky Coley’s body.
Police had been surrounding Coley’s home since Sunday night, when Officer Pat O’Rourke was shot to death while responding to a report of a possible suicide attempt or medical emergency at Coley’s home.
Police on Monday afternoon used construction equipment to tear a hole in a second-floor wall of the home, then sent in a robot, said Ureste. The robot found Coley’s body on a bed, surrounded by knives and other weapons, she said.
It was not immediately clear whether Coley had killed himself, 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.
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 alerting them 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 gunshots, Diamond said.
O’Rourke, 39, was among 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 and, Diamond said, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department was “trying to persuade this guy into a peaceful resolution.”
Coley worked at Ford Motor Co. and at General Motors, which employed him in its information technology section from 1996 to 2001, said GM spokesman Greg Martin.
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, Tom Krisher and David N. Goodman in Detroit contributed to this report.