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Detroit police officer, gunman killed in shooting

July 7 (UPI) -- A Detroit police officer and a suspect were killed in a gunfight that erupted in the city's west side as law enforcement were responding to reports of a gunman indiscriminately firing an assault rifle, authorities said.

Detroit Police Chief James White identified the slain officer to reporters in a press conference late Wednesday as a five-year veteran with the 2nd Precinct who comes from a long line of law enforcement professionals.

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"We lost a hero today," White said. "The department and the city is grieving. I will tell you that the officers are heartbroken."

Authorities said officers with the 2nd Precinct were responding to reports of someone firing indiscriminately in the area of Joy Road and Marlowe Street at around 7:30 p.m.

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On arrival, the officers came under gunfire from the suspect armed with a Draco Assault Rifle, White said, adding that one of the officers was fatally struck and succumbed to his injuries.

Another officer was able to return fire, hitting the suspected gunman, who also died, he said.

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The identity of the suspect was not released to the public as of early Thursday.

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White said they are unaware of anyone else who was injured in the shooting.

The incident comes amid a series of mass shootings nationwide that have left scores of people dead, including seven people who were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Fourth of July parade in Illinois.

"There is so much violence, it seems like there is nowhere in this country you can be safe but there are people who don't believe that -- They're police officers and they have a calling. They believe that they can protect us," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said during the press conference.

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Duggan said he spent time with the family of the fallen police officer who was described as a man who had a calling to protect his community.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to all the officers out there working. Tonight, we have an officer and a family that we can never repay," he said.

White described the violence the United States is experiencing as "outrageous."

"There is entirely too much gun violence in this city, too much gun violence in this country and now we've got an officer whose paid the ultimate sacrifice," he said.

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"Enough is enough," he said. "This did not have to happen."

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