Officer Norman Spruiel succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained three weeks earlier while working an undercover murder case.
He was conducting surveillance with his partner while attempting to located two suspects who murdered and then mutilated two young men. As the officers were finishing up their surveillance for the night they drove a few blocks away to compare notes.
Officer Spruiel was standing outside his unmarked patrol car when he was shot twice in the back by a man unrelated to the murder investigation. The subject claimed he did not know the two were police officers and thought they were preparing to rob his brother's body shop.
The suspect was convicted of Officer Spruiel's murder and sentenced to 85 years in prison.
Officer Spruiel had served with the Detroit Police Department for 15 years.