An off duty Detroit police officer was hosting a fish fry at his home when he was hugged from behind by one of the guests. This prompted his gun to go off, shooting the woman dead.
Adaisha Miller was killed Sunday morning after the gun in police officer Isaac Parrish’s holster unexpectedly went off while she hugged him at a party.
The married officer claims that he did not know Ms Miller and that she turned up to a party at his house with a group of her friends.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee described Miller’s death during a Monday news conference as a tragic, ‘unfathomable’ accident.
‘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.’
Mr Godbee implied contact from Miller appeared to have caused the gun to go off, but he stopped short of saying she pulled the trigger on the .40-caliber handgun.
The officer, 38-year-old Isaac Parrish, has been placed on desk duty while the case is investigated. There was no answer at his home early Monday afternoon. Mr Godbee said Mr Parrish is ‘very remorseful.’
The Smith & Wesson M&P primarily was designed for police and military use. It does not have a safety switch, but the trigger has to be pulled back completely for the gun to fire, certified firearms instructor Rick Ector said.
Mr Ector said that if properly holstered, the gun cannot be fire accidentally. But Mr Godbee said Mr Parrish’s waist holster was made of a soft material, and it would be possible for the trigger to be pulled while the gun was in it.
He said the barrel direction typically would have been pointing down while holstered.
The gun’s angle also is at question, according to a former Michigan State Police firearms examiner David Balash.
‘What’s going to be very important here is the angle of the entry of the wound to the victim (and) if there is in fact any gunpowder residue,’ Mr Balash said.
‘I’m having a great deal of difficulty understanding how a weapon that’s pointed at the ground can be turned literally 100 degrees minimum to be in an upward position to strike someone.’
Now her family are left with lingering questions as the plan her funeral.
Given the young woman was out celebrating her 25th birthday- which would have been today- the tragic turn of events is especially sad.
‘For this to happen to her, whether they want to call it freak accident or mistake in judgment, it should have never happened to my child, and there’s nothing I can do to get her back,’her mother Yolanda McNair told WDIV-TV.
She still does not understand why Officer Parrish had his loaded gun on him while off duty, since that is not required by the department.
‘Why do you need a weapon with a round in the chamber?’ she told the Free Press.
The lawyer for the Detroit police department called the tragic incident ‘a fluke accidental shooting’.
‘They were having a party and the next thing, a woman is dead. He’s devastated by what happened,’ lawyer John Goldpaugh told The Detroit Free Press after having spent time with the officer in question.
While the police have said that Ms Miller hugged the officer from behind, her mother was told by friends that her daughter ‘was being a little flirty’ with the man and hugged him face-to-face.
The bullet punctured Ms Miller’s lung and hit her heart, and she died at a hospital.
An autopsy performed on Monday showed that she died as a result of a single gunshot wound, and the initial police investigation ruled the shooting accidental.
That said, her death has been classified as a homicide.
The lawyer said that the physical evidence at the scene matches the officer’s description of the incident, but he will still remain on administrative duty until the shooting is fully investigated by the internal affairs division.
Ms Miller graduated from Redford High School in Detroit before going to Everest College in California to receive her degree in massage therapy.
‘All she wanted to do was enjoy the weekend for her birthday,’ her mother said.
‘She had every right to enjoy turning 25 and look beyond that.’