LIVONIA, MI – Last week, a Livonia officer assigned to the afternoon shift was being proactive and looking for suspicious activity. While in a parking lot of a local hotel, he observed a parked, occupied vehicle.
The officer decided to make sure that there were no problems between the male and female occupants. The female quickly exited the passenger side of the vehicle. The officer exited his police car and approached the vehicle. The male driver seemed nervous. Within a short time, the driver put the car in gear and sped away, leaving the female and officer in the parking lot.
A short distance away, Livonia officers recovered a sawed off, semi-automatic rifle.
The next day, an off duty Livonia officer saw a news report of a subject wanted for murder in Milwaukee and who is a suspect in the disappearance of a 2 year old child. The off duty officer noticed that the suspect from Milwaukee matched the description of the individual that fled from the hotel parking lot.
Working with Milwaukee authorities, they have learned that the suspect, Dariaz Higgins, left Livonia and drove back to Milwaukee where he was eventually apprehended by Milwaukee PD. While being interviewed by Milwaukee detectives, the suspect confirmed the interaction with the Livonia Officer.
He indicated that the semi-auto rifle, which is the murder weapon, was along his leg as he sat in his car. He saw the Livonia officer and was going to shoot and kill him. The suspect had nothing to lose. He had already shot and killed one person. Shot and critically wounded another, and tragically, we now know that the missing two year old was also killed, dying of blunt force head trauma.
At the time of the encounter, the Livonia officer was unaware of any of the Milwaukee events. The incident is one demonstration of how officers never know who and what they may encounter.
A simple traffic stop, or in this case an inquiry into suspicious behavior, officers are always in a reactionary mode. The officer is very fortunate that this encounter turned out as it did.
Livonia Police extends their sympathies to the families that suffered the loss in Milwaukee and they ask that you please keep their officers in your thoughts and prayers. They appreciate your support.