Hartland Graduate and West Bloomfield Officer Killed on Duty
Patrick O'Rourke, a 1991 Hartland High School graduate, was among a handful of officers that were shot at in an 'ambush' style attack Sunday night, police say.
Patrick O'Rourke, a 12-year veteran of the West Bloomfield Police Department and 1991 Hartland High School graduate, was shot and killed by a man who remains barricaded in a home on the Township's west side this morning, police confirmed.
O'Rourke, 39, was among a handful of officers who responded to the 4000 block of Forest Edge for a report of shots fired at about 10 p.m., Lt. Tim Diamond said. The call originated from family members of the suspect who heard the gunshot and left the home.
Diamond said that the officers, in an attempt to render aid to someone that might have been shot, rushed up the stairs to a second floor, where they were met with gunfire through a closed bedroom door and drywall.
"It was like an ambush situation," Diamond said, noting that officers never even had the chance to see inside the room. They returned fire and carried O'Rourke out of the home where they awaited paramedics. Diamond said O'Rourke was taken to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac, where he was pronounced dead.
No other officers were injured, and all involved in the situation were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the shooting by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.
The Oakland County Sheriff's Special Response Team mobilized to the scene and tried to make contact with the suspect, who continued shooting through the night, and as recently as 8:30 a.m. today. Officers fromm Bloomfield Township, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Farmington Hills, and troopers from the Michigan State Police responded to the scene initially and have been assisting in the aftermath, Diamond said.
Diamond said authorities have identified suspect, but they are not releasing his name at this point. Though there were no reported problems that required a police response from that address in the past, Diamond said this incident could be tied to an ongoing divorce. More details are expected later today as the situation unfolds, he added.
A Department Mourns
The typically quiet early Monday morning routine for officers and staff at the West Bloomfield Police Department was broken up by the constant buzz of ringing phones and sounds of reporters clamoring for comment about the incident and O'Rourke's death.
While incidents with high-media interest are not uncommon for the department, this situation certainly is, Diamond said.
"To my knowledge, I don't believe we've ever had a an officer killed in the line of duty," a somber Diamond said in his office this morning. "It's not something we're accustomed to, and I don't know if you can ever be accustomed to it. It's a very bad day."
Several officers and staff hugged eachoter in the department hallways and consoled others as they arrived to work and heard the tragic news. Diamond said grief counselors are on site and available to them throughout the day.
O'Rourke was married and a father of four that lived in the Fenton area. He was well-liked in the department and in addition to road patrol, served on the department's undercover surveillance and narcotics unit for several years.
Funeral arrangements are pending.