A Detroit woman was killed after the hug she gave to an off-duty cop caused his holstered gun to discharge. WDIV's Bisi Onile-Ere reports.
Detroit's police chief on Monday called the death of a Detroit woman who was shot after she hugged an off-duty police officer from behind during a party, causing the officer’s weapon to fire, a “tragic and unfortunate incident.”
"I offer our sincerest condolences by what all apparent preliminary investigation indicates is a very tragic and unfortunate incident, but nothing intended at all," Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. told reporters in Detroit.
Adaisha Miller would have celebrated her 25th birthday on Monday, family members say.
Police identified the officer as Issac Parrish, a Detroit law enforcement veteran of nearly 16 years. He was placed on administrative duties until authorities complete their investigation and report their findings to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Godbee said.
Miller had been invited by friends to the officer's home in the city's west side for a fish fry on Saturday, according to Detroit media reports. The two didn't know each other, police union lawyer John Goldpaugh said, the Detroit News reported.
Godbee said Miller was dancing with Parrish and had touched his waist from behind when his holstered handgun fired, striking Miller in the chest. The bullet pierced Miller’s lung and struck her heart, authorities said. Miller died later at a Detroit hospital.
Godbee said Parrish's weapon was in a waist holster made of a soft material and worn on the officer’s right side, which would have allowed the trigger to be activated. He said there was no indication that Parrish had touched the weapon when it went off.
According to the Detroit News, the gun, described as a Smith & Wesson M&P 40-caliber semi-automatic, did not have an external safety, but did have an internal safety in the trigger.
Here's what certified firearms instructor Rick Ector told The Associated Press:
"The Smith & Wesson M&P primarily was designed for police and military use. It does not have a safety switch, but the trigger has to be pulled back completely for the gun to fire.
If properly holstered, the gun cannot be fired accidentally."
David Balash, a former Michigan State Police firearms examiner, told the AP:
"What's going to be very important here is the angle of the entry of the wound to the victim (and) if there is in fact any gunpowder residue. I'm having a great deal of difficulty understanding how a weapon that's pointed at the ground can be turned literally 110 degrees minimum to be in an upward position to strike someone."
Godbee said each Detroit Police Department officer has the option to carry a weapon off duty. If one does, the officer must be certified and the weapon must be concealed and holstered, according to Godbee.
“He is very remorseful of the incident and the tragic nature of this young lady losing her life,” Godbee said of Parrish.
"We are profoundly sad at their loss," the police chief said, referring to Miller's family.
Miller's mother, Yolanda McNair, vowed to keep fighting for answers.
"All she wanted to do was enjoy the weekend for her birthday," McNair told WDIV-TV. "She had every right to enjoy turning 25 and look beyond that."
"There is nothing they can do to get her back," McNair said.
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