OAK PARK, Mich. – An Oak Park police officer was fatally shot during an early morning struggle with a suspect on Sunday, and a 16-year-old later surrendered in connection with the shooting.
Police said Officer Mason Samborski, 28, stopped a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 16-year-old about 12:30 a.m. The Detroit teen didn't have a driver's license, Chief John McNeilance said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
The chief said Samborski put the teen in a squad car and drove him to a nearby apartment complex, apparently seeking an adult to take custody of him or someone who could establish his identity.
Once at the apartments, a struggle occurred, and McNeilance said the officer was shot once. A neighbor called police, and emergency crews tried to revive the officer, but he died at Providence Hospital.
"It's the worst possible thing that can happen in a police department," McNeilance said. "You never want it to take place. Obviously, our officers are devastated. We'll get through it."
The suspect apparently fled in the Jeep but surrendered about 2:25 p.m. at a police station in nearby Detroit. He was under arrest while police sought murder charges.
McNeilance declined to name identify teen, but Lt. Mike Pinkerton earlier said police were looking for Jonathan Belton. Police said after the surrender they weren't looking for any other suspects, but were interviewing people in the case.
Samborski had been with the suburban Detroit department for four years, Pinkerton said, and was married with one child. He lived in Howell.
McNeilance declined to release other details of the case, saying it might harm the investigation. He wouldn't say if the officer was shot with his own gun.
Oak Park is a city of about 29,000 on Detroit's northern border. Its public safety department has 66 sworn officers, who handle both policing and firefighting.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Sunday afternoon. The public safety department has arranged for counseling for its employees, McNeilance said.
Oak Park's first and only other police officer's killing happened in 1973, McNeilance said.