Jul 12, 2022 - News

Feds charge gun buyer tied to police shooting

Illustration of police lights shown through the shape of a police hat.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Federal prosecutors charged a local man for illegally buying the gun used to kill a Detroit police officer last week.

Why it matters: The charge for "lying and buying" comes after police chief James White called for more action on gun violence in the wake of officer Loren Courts' death.

What happened: The U.S. Attorney's Office on Sunday charged Sheldon Thomas, 26, with making false statements to buy a Draco gun on June 7 at an Eastpointe gun store.

  • Surveillance video shows Thomas meeting up with a man appearing to be Ehmani Davis – the 19-year-old who police say shot Courts – in a White Castle parking lot near the gun store.
  • Thomas told federal agents Davis gave him money to buy the gun and paid him about $50 for the purchase, according to court records.
  • Police later shot and killed Davis after responding to the scene of Courts' shooting.

Meanwhile, the owner of the gun store told the Detroit News he consoled the employee who sold the semiautomatic pistol because "he followed the law."

What's next: Thomas has a detention hearing today in federal court.

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