Corporal Matthew Edwards Taylor Police Department Michigan End of Watch: Friday, July 23, 2010


Photograph: Corporal Matthew Edwards Patch image: Taylor Police Department, Michigan

Corporal Matthew Edwards
Taylor Police Department

End of Watch: Friday, July 23, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 31
Tour of Duty: 5 years, 7 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Friday, July 23, 2010
Weapon Used: Handgun
Suspect Info: Shot and wounded

Corporal Matthew Edwards was shot and killed while responding to reports of a burglary in progress at an apartment complex on Pine Street at approximately 6:00 am.
Corporal Edwards and his partner encountered a man in the parking lot fitting the description of the suspect. As Corporal Edwards spoke to the man when the subject suddenly produced a handgun and fatally shot him. Corporal Edwards’ partner returned fire and wounded the suspect.
Corporal Edwards had served with the Taylor Police Department for almost six years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Agency Contact Information
Taylor Police Department
23515 Goddard Road
Taylor, MI 48180
Phone: (734) 287-6611
Please contact the Taylor Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

Taylor police officer Matthew Edwards and his partner were near the end of their overnight shift when the call came in. There was a possible breaking and entering at Coppertree Apartments. It was about 6 a.m. — just two hours until Edwards could head home to his wife and two children.

Hours later, with flags flying at half-staff and rock-jawed cops fighting back tears, Taylor Police Commander Dan Crowell stepped to a podium. "We all expect to go home to our families," Crowell said in a halting voice. "Sometimes it’s something we take for granted."

A routine call turned into a gun battle early Friday morning at the Taylor apartment complex. When the gunfire stopped, two men lay bleeding in the parking lot. One of them was Edwards, 31, of Woodhaven, a decorated police officer named an Officer of the Year in 2008, the first Taylor officer ever to die in the line of duty.

The other man was the alleged gunman. He had surgery Friday and remains in a nearby hospital.

Police identified the suspect only as a 36-year-old Westland man because he has not yet been charged. An arraignment could be held as soon as today. Police said the suspect has a long criminal record.

A two-officer car had been called to investigate a report of breaking and entering at one of the apartments in the large complex, which has a reputation for drugs and gunplay. Later, police would learn that the incident likely stemmed from a domestic dispute.

"We’re constantly having break-ins around here," resident Mark Rakowski said. "The thieves will just walk right into your house.

"I have a gun and permit, and I am going to start carrying. It is just too dangerous around here. What a nightmare."

Edwards, who joined the department in January 2005, had been in tough scrapes before. In December 2007, a drunk, knife-wielding man burst out of a mobile home and approached Edwards. The man’s wife told police officers the man wanted to commit suicide, but was afraid to do it himself. He wanted police to shoot him.

With the man approaching his wife and police officers with a knife, Edwards shot him. That action, hailed as saving the life of the woman and his fellow officer, earned Edwards the Officer of the Year honor from the Police Officers Association of Michigan.

‘A real good guy’

Friday morning, Edwards and his partner entered the parking lot of the apartment complex and saw a man matching the description of the person who allegedly had broken into an apartment.

Edwards approached the man in the parking lot, while his partner walked toward the apartment. While Edwards was talking to the suspect, the man pulled a gun and shot Edwards.

Edwards’ partner heard the shot, turned back to the parking lot, and began firing. The officer and the suspect fired at each other, and the suspect was hit.

Residents said they heard numerous shots and saw Edwards on the ground screaming for help near a police cruiser.

Teresa Webster said gunfire is frequent in the area and that she did not pay much attention to the shots Friday.

"I heard the shots. There were a lot of them," she said. "They woke me up. But I didn’t think much of them because we hear so many gunshots around here.

"There was a stabbing here about a month ago. And three days ago, I found a body in a car in the parking lot. We thought (a teenage male in the front seat) was passed out, but he was dead."

Both Edwards and the suspect were taken to Oakwood Hospital. Police said the suspect underwent surgery. Edwards was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"We lost a real good guy today," Taylor police Lt. John Blair said, of Edwards. "This is the first officer we’ve had killed in the line of duty in the history of the department. We’ve been fortunate up to now. It’s been a real rough day."

The Taylor Police Department dates back to the 1930s, police said.

The Coppertree Apartments have been the site of a fatal shooting before.

In July 2007, Wendy Meinke, a 38-year-old mother of six, was fatally shot at the complex after defending her 22-year-old son there during an altercation. Two men were convicted of her slaying.

Deborah Brown was considering moving out of the complex after fights among teens began to increase over the past month. Friday’s fatal shooting has convinced her to leave.

"It sounded like war," she said of gunfire that woke her. "It is awful. I’m done."

Funeral arrangements for Edwards have not been released.

Taylor officials said today that two memorial funds have been set up to assist the family of Cpl. Matthew Edwards, slain today during a shootout at an apartment complex.

Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand said the public may make donations at any PNC Bank branch to the Cpl. Matthew Edwards Memorial Fund. Edwards leaves a wife and two children.

Another fund was established through the organization Thin Blue Line of Michigan, which also will take donations at PNC branches. The group is a nonprofit that provides help to families of injured and slain police officers.

“He’s a guy who loved to be on the job,” Lamarand said of Edwards. “No adjective can fit what happened. It’s a huge loss for the Taylor PD and the city in general.”


5 Responses to “Corporal Matthew Edwards Taylor Police Department Michigan End of Watch: Friday, July 23, 2010”

  1. 1 tammy alwan July 24, 2010 at 15:19

    My heart goes out to the family and friends of Corporal Matthew Edwards. May he rest in peace.

  2. 2 Harold B. Bachman July 25, 2010 at 08:00

    To all the members of the Taylor PD and the family of Cpl. Matt Edwards. My deepest and heartfelt condolences in the loss of a brother officer. As a retired uniform Sgt. from Dbn Hts PD I feel the pain and sorrow your feeling. Remain strong and be safe.

  3. 3 Danielle Martin July 26, 2010 at 21:59

    My brother-in-law serves Taylor and is the father of my young nephew and husband of my sister.. All I can think of is how lucky we all are to have these people who protect us in our lives and what a hero Cpl Edwards was. Keeping his wife and young children in my prayers and hoping that this low life never sees the sky again. It’s unfortunate we don’t have the death penalty for scum like him.

  4. 4 STEFANIE PARENT July 27, 2010 at 13:18


  5. 5 STEFANIE PARENT July 27, 2010 at 13:18


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