Lifestyle & Belief

Detroit cop off-duty accidentally shoots woman at a party


Detroit police officer Issac Parrish was carrying a loaded Smith & Wesson that misfired and killed a 24-year-old.


Ralph Orlowski

A Detroit cop who was wearing his loaded gun in a holster while off-duty accidentally shot and killed a 24-year-old woman who was dancing behind him, the Detroit Free Press reported

The officer, 38-year-old Isaac Parrish, was hosting a party at his home when his soft-holstered Smith & Wesson M&P went off, firing a shot into Adaisha Miller's chest, which passed through a lung and struck her heart, according to CBS News

At a press conference Monday, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee called Miller's death a tragic, "unfathomable" accident, the Associated Press reported

"Somehow, in the course of dancing with the individual to his rear and touching his waist, his Detroit Police Department-issued weapon discharged, striking Ms. Miller," Godbee said. "There is absolutely no indication that the officer placed his hand on his weapon at all."

John Goldpaugh, a lawyer for the Detroit Police Officers Association who spent hours with Parrish after the incident, told the Detroit Free Press that Parrish was dancing with his wife when Miller tugged his waist from behind him.  

"And the gun went off," Goldpaugh said. "It's a fluke accidental shooting."

He added that Parrish is "devastated by what happened."

However, weapons experts told the Detroit News that Smith & Weston triggers need to be fully pulled in order to go off. 

"The trigger was pressed. No question about it," Neil Emanuel, a certified Smith & Wesson armorer, told the Detroit News. "Somebody put their finger on that trigger and gave it pressure."

Emanuel also said that the gun is an "extremely safe" firearm which requires more effort to fire than other similar handguns. 

Miller's mother, Yolanda McNair, Miller's mother, is confused as to why Parrish would have been carrying a loaded weapon while off-duty in his own home, USA Today reported. She also said her daughter was invited to Parrish's party by her friends, but she did not know the officer personally. 

"The story keeps changing," McNair said. "There's no logical reason."

"The story just really isn't plausible," David Malhalab, a Detroit police sergeant who retired in 2005 and is a blogger on Detroit issues, told the Detroit News. "The department needs to investigate thoroughly and make all the facts known and proceed in an ethical and lawful manner."

Parish remains on desk duty as the case is fully investigated, CBS News reported. 

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