DETROIT (AP) — A man who opened fire inside a Detroit police precinct was being investigated in connection with a sexual attack on a minor, police said Tuesday, a day after authorities said they couldn’t speculate on his motive but suggested he may have been upset about a criminal case against his brother.
Meanwhile, the home in which gunman Lamar Moore had been living was gutted by an early morning fire, the cause of which was still being determined. The developments raised more questions about what spurred Moore to stride into the 6th precinct Sunday with a shotgun and wound four officers before being fatally shot.
Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens confirmed the sexual assault investigation, and said police were looking into allegations that Moore was connected to a sexual attack on a minor. She would give no further details, and said she could not address when top officers became aware of the investigation.
Fire investigators were at the badly burned house on Sorrento Street on Tuesday afternoon. Detroit fire Capt. Kwaku Atara said his department was alerted about the blaze at 3:14 a.m. Three sides of the white-sided house were still standing, but the back was gone and charred debris littered the interior of the home as well as the backyard.
Footage from surveillance video shows Moore entering the precinct about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, then beginning to shoot. The two officers most seriously injured — one who was shot in the head, the other in the back — could be out of the hospital by the end of the week, a trauma surgeon said. Dr. Susan Seman said she expected Cmdr. Brian Davis and Officer David Anderson to leave Sinai-Grace Hospital within a few days.
Peggy Anderson, David Anderson’s wife, said she had been happy when her husband was assigned to duty inside the precinct, “thinking, ‘Oh. He’s safe now. He’s not on the street. He’s not facing danger every second like a lot of the officers are.’”
“They came into their house,” Peggy Anderson said of Moore. “This isn’t right. We have to take control of this city.”
Like other precincts in Detroit, the 6th has no metal detectors at the entrance and visitors can come in and talk face-to-face with police sitting behind a large desk.
Anderson said her husband described the sensation of being shot in the head as like being struck by a baseball bat. David Anderson’s first reaction upon awaking, his wife said during a news conference at the hospital, was to ask, “How’s the commander?”
Brian Davis had surgery for a gunshot wound to his back and lost part of several fingers on his right hand, Sinai-Grace surgeon John Webber said.
Davis’ wife, Tamika Davis, who also is a police officer in the city, showed reporters a teddy bear she said had been given to her by the son of Brian Huff, a Detroit officer who was shot and killed in May while police investigated a complaint at a vacant duplex on Detroit’s east side.
Both Davis and Anderson have begun walking, but aren’t expected to return to work for some time.
Police Chief Ralph Godbee said Monday that he couldn’t speculate about Moore’s motive. He noted that a relative of Moore’s was scheduled to be sentenced Monday for a double homicide.
Paula Hodges, who has been acting as a spokeswoman for Moore’s family and doesn’t live far from the burned home, said Moore had been concerned for months about a criminal case against his younger brother, though he didn’t blame the police for what happened. She identified Moore’s brother as Venson Hibbit.
Hibbit was sentenced Monday to 30 to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder, stemming from a shooting last March at a Detroit auto repair shop.
Moore’s record contained no felonies until October 2002, when he and two others were stopped in Arizona along Interstate 40. According to court documents, authorities discovered 115 pounds of marijuana, and the three were indicted on three drug possession and trafficking charges.
Moore pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted possession of marijuana for sale, was sentenced in February 2003 to three years of probation and was sent to back to Michigan to serve it. He completed his probation in 2004, ahead of schedule. He told court officials at the time he was going through a rough time, “got caught up in the wrong crowd” and sought a second chance.
Associated Press writer David Runk contributed to this report.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.