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Matthew Edwards, honored Michigan police officer, shot and killed

Saturday, July 24, 2010

City of Taylor, within Wayne County, Michigan
Image: Shereth.

A Michigan police officer was shot and killed yesterday in an early-morning exchange of gunfire. Corporal Matthew Edwards, 31, of the Taylor Police Department, was responding to a call about a breaking and entering of a home in an apartment complex on Pine Street near Telegraph and Northline Roads, in Taylor, Michigan.

After arriving at the scene, the Taylor Police Department say that two of their officers observed a man trying to enter an apartment through a window. While his partner walked towards the building, Edwards approached the suspect and began speaking to him. The suspect pulled out a gun and shot at the officer. Edwards and his partner then opened fire on the suspect, who police say is 36-year-old Tyress Matthews from Westland, which resulted in a volley of bullets being exchanged. Residents told investigators that they heard between 15 and 20 gun shots in the shootout, and saw Edwards lying on the ground near his vehicle and screaming for help for about five minutes.

Edwards and Matthews were taken to Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, where Edwards was pronounced dead. Matthews underwent surgery, and is reported to have non-life threatening injuries. The second officer was not injured in the incident. The Michigan State Police and officers from the nearby cities of Allen Park and Romulus are assisting the Taylor PD in investigating the incident. Taylor police Commander Dan Crowell said while the initial report was of a break-in, it was more likely a domestic disturbance. Matthews has "quite a lengthy criminal history".

Residents of the apartment complex say that crime and gunfire is a common occurrence there. "I heard the shots. There were a lot of them," Teresa Webster told the Detroit News. "They woke me up. But I didn't think much of them because we hear so many gunshots around here. There was a stabbing here about a month ago. And three days ago, I found a body in a car in the parking lot. We thought (a teenaged male in the front seat) was passed out, but he was dead." Another resident, Arthur White, told the Associated Press that drug use and teenage delinquency is common in the complex, while Deborah Brown has decided that the incident today has convinced her to move out, following an increase of criminal behavior in recent weeks.

Matthew Edwards, a five-year veteran of the Taylor Police Department, is survived by his wife Shannon and two children, Luke, 8, and Moriah, 6. Before returning to his hometown of Taylor in January 2005, Edwards was with the Detroit Police Department. He is the first Taylor police officer to be killed in the line of duty since it formed in the 1930s. In 2008, Edwards was named Officer of the Year by the Police Officers Association of Michigan for shooting a drunken knife-wielding man who was attempting to commit suicide-by-police.


Sources

Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter's notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.