Another officer, a sergeant, was wounded in the incident Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported. He was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Sources told the newspaper the critically injured officer was shot in the head and the sergeant in the leg.
The shootout occurred at about 6 p.m. Tuesday when the two officers, members of the Comprehensive Violence Reduction Partnership unit, pulled over a car. Sources in the police department said a woman in the car screamed that the driver had a gun and he then opened the door and began shooting.
The driver was still holding the weapon when his body was examined, police said. A man and woman in the car were arrested.
Police sources identified the dead man as Matthew Renard Joseph, 23, WDIV-TV, Detroit, reported. Joseph was on parole after serving a sentence for armed robbery.
The police department said Joseph was a suspect in a homicide last Thursday.