Man who opened fire in police station was a veteran

Nov 12, 2012

Yesterday, on Veterans Day, Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire.

Yesterday's first AP report said the man and an officer were wounded in the shootout:

Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire, then was wounded in an exchange of shots with an officer who also was hit.

Police tell WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV that the shooting happened Sunday afternoon in the Detroit suburb. They say the wounded officer and the suspect are in stable condition.

Now we learn that the man who entered the station was a veteran and he was killed in the shootout.

The 64-year old man was identified as Harold J. Collins of Southfield.

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Collins was shot several times and killed.

Investigators identified Collins as a military veteran. He was in poor health and had "serious internal issues," Southfield Police Chief Eric Lawson said Monday.

Lawson was unsure in what branch of the military Collins served. He  would "not speculate" on whether that played a role in the shooting or timing.

The Detroit Free Press has more details on how the shooting occurred.

At 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, police said Collins left his white Dodge Caliber and walked into the department lobby in plain clothes. Hawkins said he approached the information desk, which is behind protective glass, and gave no answer when the officer behind the glass greeted him.

“There was nothing to alert any of our staff that anything unusual was about to happen,” said Hawkins.

The Free Press reports officers are still trying to reach Collins' family members.