Police station attacker was seriously ill

Nov. 12, 2012 at 2:58 PM

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 12 (UPI) -- A 64-year-old Michigan man who walked into a police station, shot and wounded an officer and was killed by return fire was seriously ill, his family said.

The man -- identified Monday as Harold Joseph Collins -- entered the Southfield Police Department building about 2:20 p.m. Sunday and and tried to shoot an officer at an information desk behind protective glass in the lobby, The Detroit News reported.

The gun did not initially discharge, but the suspect then shot at other officers,as they responded, the Detroit Free Press reported.

A 50-year-old officer who was wearing protective gear was shot in the shoulder and officers in the station fired multiple shots at Collins.

Collins and the wounded officer were taken to a hospital, where Collins died on arrival. Hospital officials said the officer was expected to make a full recovery.

Collins' former stepdaughter, Seretha Nobles, said he suffered from throat cancer and was unable to speak, The Detroit News said.

"He couldn't speak, he can't talk," Nobles said. "He has been very sick and suffering from cancer -- throat cancer -- for many years. He wasn't able to talk."

Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said an officer tried to speak to Collins, who wouldn't respond.

"He appeared to be staring off into the distance and did not speak," Hawkins said.

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