Officer Larry Nehasil E.O.W. 01-17-11
Heroes — By sdiamond on January 17, 2011 at 11:43 pm
What started as a typical night in an upscale neighborhood in Walled Lake turned into the scene of a shootout Monday when an undercover police team tried to arrest two people under surveillance in a home invasion ring.
When the gunfire stopped, Livonia Police Officer Larry Nehasil and the suspect he was after were dead.
“Our family is devastated,” said Livonia Police Chief Robert Stevenson during a 10 p.m. news conference. “Larry was hardworking. Larry sought out the most dangerous assignments. Larry is going to be sorely missed.”
Nehasil, 48, married and the father of two, is the first officer killed in a violent felony in the department’s history, Stevenson said. He worked in the department’s intelligence bureau and had previously worked for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey said Nehasil had been working on a case for a couple weeks involving a gang of individuals who had been breaking into homes in the area, including in Livonia.
“It’s terrible, terrible tragic news,” Kirksey said. “I wish there were words we could say to express our sorrow.”
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation and were at the home on Glenwood, just south of Maple.
Police weren’t releasing many details -including the name of the suspect killed-but a law enforcement official who did not want his name used said he had heard what neighbors were also reporting: That police rammed a car driven by someone suspected of having just broken into a home on the 100 block of Glenwood.
A man got out of the car and ran off. Nehasil chased him.
Shots were fired and both men were killed. The second suspect was taken into custody, Stevenson said.
Neighbors in the subdivision were struggling with what happened.
David Abbott, who lives on Glenwood, was not home at the time of the incident, but said his wife, Cathy, heard five gunshots and saw two men running between houses about 5:20 p.m. Monday.
He expressed shock that the incident had happened in the normally quiet community.
“It’s a safe neighborhood. We get petty garage thefts from time to time, but nothing like this,” he said.
He added that he did not believe that the residents were home at the time of the incident.
Officer Nehasil had served with the Livonia Police Department for 20 years