DETROIT — A man accused of shooting a Detroit police officer during a chase was charged with murder Monday after the officer’s weekend death.

Sgt. Ken Steil’s fellow officers, meanwhile, invited the public to an east side station to decorate his squad car. His death Saturday, five days after the shooting, was unexpected, especially after he wrote a thank-you note to the chief and was upbeat about going home to his wife and two sons.

“We’ve gone into the darkest alleys together,” Officer Kijuan Anderson said. “He taught me everything I know. He’d say, ‘Don’t let this job get to your head. I want you to be a loving person to your family.'”

Marquise Cromer, 21, had been charged with attempted murder, but the charge was changed to first-degree murder. Police said Steil was shot in the shoulder while pursuing Cromer, who was wanted for shooting his father.

A blood clot developed and killed Steil, Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said.

“Make no mistake about it: The alleged actions of defendant Cromer led to the tragic death of Sgt. Steil, and we will aggressively ensure that justice is done,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

Cromer’s attorney, Sanford Schulman, didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Steil, 46, was an officer for 20 years and nicknamed “Shark” for his diving skills.

VIAThe Associated Press
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