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Feds charge Michigan man with illegally buying gun used in killing of Detroit police officer

Officer Shot Detroit
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 15:53:43-04

DETROIT — Federal prosecutors in Michigan have charged a man with illegally purchasing the gun that authorities say a 19-year-old allegedly used to fatally shoot a Detroit police officer last week.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Sunday, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison said 26-year-old Sheldon Avery Thomas was charged with making a false statement in the firearm acquisition.

Thomas was ordered to be temporarily detained pending a detention hearing on Tuesday, federal prosecutors said.

According to the criminal complaint, ATF agents were able to trace the Draco pistol that the 19-year-old suspected gunman allegedly used to kill Officer Loren Courts.

Federal prosecutors said Thomas purchased the gun allegedly used in the fatal shooting on June 7 from a gun store in Eastpointe.

Records and surveillance video from June 7 show that Thomas purchased the Draco firearm and later met with the suspected gunman in a nearby parking lot, federal prosecutors said.

According to the criminal complaint, Thomas allegedly made false statements about how the firearm was acquired, saying he purchased the gun and did not buy it for another person.

The Associated Press reported that Courts and his partner were responding to reports of a man firing a weapon on July 6 when Courts was "ambushed" by the suspected gunman.

Another officer fatally shot the 19-year-old as Courts’ partner rendered medical aid to Courts, the news outlet reported.