On December 18, 2022, 33-year-old Ali Naji of Dearborn entered the Dearborn Police station on 16099 Michigan Avenue during a busy time when civilians, including individuals donating gifts for the Toys for Tots program, frequented the premises.
Shortly after entering the building, Naji brandished a gun, aiming it at a police officer without any evident provocation. Despite pulling the trigger, the gun failed to discharge. Naji quickly attempted to fix the issue by removing and reinserting the weapon’s magazine.
The targeted officer, situated behind a bullet-resistant acrylic window at the front desk, briefly retreated before reemerging five seconds later with his own gun. The officer opened a window and fired multiple shots at Naji, who was in the process of pulling back the slide on his firearm. Naji was struck and collapsed to the ground.
The entire altercation, from Naji’s initial display of the gun to the officer’s cessation of gunfire, took only 13 seconds. Upon recovering Naji’s weapon, the safety was found to be off, with a single round in the chamber.
Additional law enforcement officers arrived in the lobby 20 seconds after the initial officer fired at Naji. They secured the scene, and medics were called to provide medical assistance. Naji was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Multiple gunshot wounds were identified as the cause of death.
An investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police revealed that Naji had stolen the handgun from a local barbershop, his former place of employment, before driving to the police station. No clear motive has been identified for his actions. However, Naji had a documented history of mental health issues, and the shooting incident may have resulted from a mental health episode.
On the day of the shooting, both police officers and civilians were present in and around the police station. The officer in the lobby, although behind bullet-resistant glass, was the only person immediately available to confront Naji.
It was determined that Naji posed a serious threat to the officer in the lobby, as well as any others who might have entered the public lobby during the incident.
The evidence in the case supports the conclusion that the officer acted in lawful self-defense and in defense of others, resulting in the denial of a warrant request and no charges being filed in the case.