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Detroit woman shot while dancing with off-duty officer

July 09, 2012|By Matt Pearce
  • Eddie Miller and Yolanda McNair talk about their daughter, Adaisha Miller, who was killed in Detroit while dancing with a police officer.
Eddie Miller and Yolanda McNair talk about their daughter, Adaisha Miller,… (Mike Householder / Associated…)

Detroit police are investigating a shooting death in which they believe a woman dancing behind an off-duty officer accidentally set off the gun holstered on his waist.

Adaisha Miller, 24, was dancing at a fish fry party outside the officer's house in Detroit, police said. She apparently tugged at his waist, where his department-issue .40-caliber Smith & Wesson was concealed in a holster.

Police said he was facing away from her and never touched the gun before it went off, hitting her in the lung and the heart.

Miller was supposed to turn 25 on Monday. Now her mother is demanding to know how this could have happened.

“Instead of giving her a party this week, I'm planning her obituary and funeral,” Yolanda McNair told the Detroit Free Press from her front porch in west-side Detroit, surrounded by family and friends.

Detroit police told the Los Angeles Times they’re conducting an investigation.

“We’re not saying he shot her,” Sgt. Eren Stephens told The Times.

Stephens said the officer, whose name has not been released, was qualified to wear a weapon off-duty and that there is no policy that prevents off-duty officers from keeping their gun loaded.

The family disagrees. If you’re at a party, Miller’s mother told the Free Press, “why do you need a weapon with a round in the chamber?"

In a televised news conference, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee offered his condolences to the family and said there was “no indication” that the officer, now on leave until the investigation is complete, “placed his hand on the weapon at all."

During the press conference, a reporter asked how Miller could have been shot in the heart if the gun was in the officer's waist holster, presumably pointing toward the ground.

“You’re digging too deep in the weeds,” Godbee said, adding that a more detailed account would be released when the investigation was complete.

The inquiry will be conducted by Internal Affairs and the results turned over to the county prosecutor's office, which is also conducting its own investigation. All of the department’s policies will be reviewed in light of what happened, the chief said.

The officer is "very remorseful of the incident and the tragic nature of the young lady losing her life the way that she did,” Godbee said.

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