DETROIT - A suspect was arrested Tuesday night in the shooting of a Wayne State University police officer who was fighting for his life and undergoing surgery, authorities say.
The arrested man is believed to be the person of interest described on the university's website and linked to a blue mountain bike, which was found at the scene of the shooting at 6:45 p.m. ET several blocks southwest of the Wayne State campus.
"The officer is very critical," Wayne State Police Chief Anthony Holt said during a news conference with Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson.
Holt said the officer was patroling the area off campus when he stopped to investigate a man. A back-up officer was en route and found the officer on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound.
At least half a dozen police agencies participated in a massive manhunt, including Detroit police, Wayne County sheriff's deputies, Michigan State Police, and federal agents from several agencies. One officer at the scene, who declined to give his name, said the Wayne State officer had been shot in the head and was at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
The officer was shot in front of the aging Lincoln Aprartments at 3650 Lincoln, a block north of Martin Luther King Boulevard and a block east of Trumbull, in sight of the Motor City Casino's shimmering neon lights in an area of weedy vacant lots.
A dozen police cars as well as emergency vehicles surrounded the area and officers had the entire block closed in front of the building. But the apartments' manager, Betty Evans said she witnessed the shooting. She said she's had words with a man on a bicycle, who didn't live there, and called 911 when he would't leave the area.
"He was outside, in front. The officer was trying to get his hands behind his back. We heard a shot and the officer went down and we heard two more shots," Evans said.
"I'm just praying everything works out. They have condolences for this."
"I feel sorry for the officer. I hate the crime that's going on I the city."
Holt said the officer was the first WSU officer to every be on duty. He said he is a K9 officers in his late 20s and has been with the department for about five years.
"This is one of the worse calls a president of a university can get," said Wilson.
Holt said of the suspect: "We will you. You'll be in our custody."
Just east of the apartments are rows of townhouses, built a few years ago to replace former high-rise public housing structures that were notorious two decades ago for drug dealing and muggings. In the alley behind the apartments, two men walked around the police blockade and one called out, "This is Thanksgiving. Catch his butt," referring to the shooter.
Overhead, police helicopters circled while a team of detectives in plain jackets and knit caps knocked on the door of a church a block from the shooting scene. When there was no answer, they peered around the area, then strode off into the darkness.
Wayne State's South End newspaper had one of the first images of the aftermath of the shooting.
Wayne State has more than 27,000 students and is located in the heart of Detroit.
The shooting follows four recent incidents in which law enforcement officers were shot.
A detective was fatally shot in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday. Also Sunday, police officers were shot in St. Louis, in Gladstone, Missouri, and in Sanibel, Florida.
© 2017 Associated Press