UPDATED: West Bloomfield Gunman Died of Self-Inflicted Wound
Ricky Nelson Coley, suspect in the death of an officer, was found dead at his home after a lengthy standoff with police.
UPDATE: 5:17 p.m., Sept. 11
Preliminary reports by West Bloomfield Police indicate that a man suspected of killing an officer Sunday night died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday.
Police announced about 6 p.m. Monday that Ricky Nelson Coley, 50, was seen motionless in bed after a 15-hour standoff with police. Coley is suspected of killing Officer Patrick O'Rourke on Sunday night as police responded to reports of shots fired at the home on the 4500 block of Forest Edge in West Bloomfield.
The Oakland County Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death as a gunshot wound through the mouth.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard described an early inventory of weaponry available to Coley as "heavy" — with multiple knives, handguns, a high-powered rifle, and possibly an Uzi submachine gun.
"His family told us before we even went in that he had an Uzi automatic gun. We didn't know, quite frankly, if had booby-trapped the house. With that amount of firepower, given the ambush of the West Bloomfield Department officer, I wanted to be cautious," Bouchard said.
Bouchard said that the lengthy standoff was actually advantageous to police forces which did not want to see another casualty.
"Once he ambushed the West Bloomfield officers, I told our people we were not in a rush. Time was on our side. We wanted to evacuate the neighbors and stabilize the situation and contain him. Then, you want to slow him down and talk with him," Bouchard said.
However, that didn't work. An incident Monday morning which resulted in gunfire saw a Michigan State Police robot with a phone attached to it attempt to sneak into the home. Bouchard continued that the pattern showed someone who was shooting at any noise or motion.
"He had clearly planned this out. He had put up mattresses along windows, moved furniture to block the view, and barricaded himself in only portions of the home. We tried to utilize a pull camera to look into the home, but it was stopped by the barricades," Bouchard said.
Coley may have shot himself after a Monday morning exchange of gunfire, Bouchard added.
The Detroit Free Press reports that social media pages apparently belonging to Foley show he was a military veteran who held an MBA and worked at Ford Motor Company until sometime in 2008.
According to court documents obtained by Patch, Coley's ex-wife was granted a divorce, and possession of their home, on Sept. 4.
Diamond said Coley's mother and brother came up from where they live in North Carolina to help him pack and move, but Coley told them he had a last minute change of heart and said he wasn't going anywhere.
In addition to the divorce, federal court documents show Coley is the defendant in a civil case filed in August by the U.S. Department of Labor, over benefit payments that the government alleges were collected from employees of a firm in which Coley and his firm, CNC Holdings, LLC, had a majority interest. Foley and his firm were also named in a March civil suit over a bankruptcy filing for that same business.
O'Rourke, a 12-year WBPD veteran, was a married father of four. He is a 1991 graduate of Hartland High School and later moved to the Fenton area. West Bloomfied Police Lt. Tim Diamond said it may be the first police fatality in the department's history.
A public candlelight vigil for O’Rourke is planned for 7:45 p.m. tonight in front of the West Bloomfield Township Police Department at 4530 Walnut Lake Road.