Cpl. Renae Peterson, a 16- year veteran of the force, is in a Toledo Hospital and faces a lengthy recovery.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story, with additional photos from the scene, can be found at this link.
A Monroe Police officer who was shot during an exchange of gunfire with carjackers was in serious but stable condition Monday, officials said.
Cpl. Renae Peterson, a 16- year veteran of the force, is in a Toledo Hospital and faces a lengthy recovery. She reportedly was shot twice, at least once in the abdomen.
“Our thoughts, our prayers and our best wishes are with Cpl. Peterson and her family,” said Monroe Mayor Robert Clark. “We’re thankful for the support and the very rapid response from the law enforcement community.”
Two men remain in custody in the Monroe County jail and were expected to be arraigned today. Their identities will not be released until formal charges are filed by the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Michigan State Police is investigating the shooting. Lt. James Jarrett, assistant commander of the Monroe Post, verified that a gun had been recovered shortly after the shooting. Both suspects were apprehended within minutes of the shootout Sunday night on N. Dixie Hwy., west of the I-75 interchange.
Map of location:
The two suspects reportedly were involved in a carjacking in the City of Monroe. The owner of the Ford Escape reportedly was pistol- whipped during the crime. Witnesses also reported seeing the Escape with substantial damage as the driver attempted to flee.
But they were confronted by Cpl. Peterson who, witnesses said, approached the car during the felony stop. That’s when gunfire erupted.
Kathleen Clark of Monroe said she, her husband, Mike, and their two children were in their vehicle in the driveup lane at Taco Bell when the incident happened. She noticed that the blue Escape was damaged, but the driver was still attempting to drive through the intersection northbound on Ternes at N. Dixie Hwy.
"The next thing we know, we hear gunshots,' Kathleen Clark said.
“I saw her go down,” her husband added. “She returned fire.”
Mike Clark estimated six to eight shots were fired between the officer and the suspect. The Clarks saw both suspects run from the disabled car and shooting scene toward a wooded area.
Bryan Workman and his passengers had just left Wendy’s drive-through when they approached the scene as they headed back toward I-75. Workman said he saw Cpl. Peterson lying on the street, so he ran up to assist.
“I need help,” Workman said she told him.
“There was a lot of blood,” Workman said. “She appeared in shock.”
Immediately after the shooting, the two suspects fled the scene and ran behind the Taco Bell. Both were captured within minutes of the shooting. One reportedly was found hiding underneath a shed.
The scene was immediately cordoned off by police officers from several agencies. Personnel from the Monroe and Frenchtown Township fire departments as well as Monroe Community Ambulance also were on the scene.
“This was outright criminal behavior,” Mayor Clark said.
“These two clearly did not want to be arrested.”
The Clark family left the drive-through line at Taco Bell, but stayed in the car, trying to decide which way to go.
'You don't know what to do,” Kathleen Clark said. “Honestly, I just started praying.'
The shootout occurred around 8 p.m. at one of busier traffic areas of the city with several businesses nearby, such as the TA Truck Stop, IHOP and Taco Bell.
Sunday’s incident is the second shooting involving a Monroe Police Officer in six months. The last incident happened in November on Washington St. The suspect in that case shot at and wounded two officers; the officers returned fire and the suspect died a few days later as a result of his injuries.
Mayor Clark, who retired from the Michigan State Police before becoming mayor, said the two incidents were very different in nature, but are vivid reminders that police work is dangerous.
“Every call is potentially hazardous,” he said. “Police officers day in and day out are serving and making this community safer.”
Anyone with information about the carjacking or shooting is asked to call (734) 243-7513.
Monroe News reporter Paula Wethington contributed to this report.