Southfield Police Update: Gunman Slain on Veterans Day Was Ailing Military Vet

Harold Collins, 64, is named as the man who walked into Southfield police headquarters on an unseasonably mild Sunday afternoon and started a shootout in which he died. At a Monday morning briefing, police also identified him as a military service veteran in poor health and with no criminal record.

A 50-year-old wounded desk sergeant, still not named publicly, is expected to go home from Providence Hospital in Southfield on Monday afternoon, reporters were told. A 25-year veteran of the suburban force, he was was shot in a shoulder during the deadly Veterans Day confrontation.

Southfield Police Chief
Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins
The reason for Collins' fateful actions remains unknown by police, according to reports in The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

"The use of force was unavoidable," Chief Eric Hawkins said earlier. "I'm very, very proud of the actions of my officers, who performed courageously."

The drama occurred at 2:20 p.m. Sunday when the man, who had driven to police headquarters on Evergreen Road, walked in and abruptly aimed a .380-caliber handgun at the desk sergeant sitting behind a protective shield. "He had a blank stare and did not say a word," Hawkins says of the gunman, whose weapon initially didn't fire. "He appeared to be staring off into the distance and did not speak."

"The officer sought cover and requested assistance. . . . Shots were exchanged. The suspect was shot multiple times and pronounced dead on arrival at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, according to The Detroit News.

Hawkins, who served as interim chief since May 2001 and was sworn into the top job just three weeks ago, calls the incident "very unusual for Southfield."   

Hawkins said his department would re-evaluate security measures. Unlocked entrances are at each end of the lobby at police headquarters in the Southfield Civic Center.

Read more:  The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press

Email Signup
Send us your email address and we’ll send you the best of Detroit!