Oakland County deputy killed in Detroit while tracking stolen vehicle

An Oakland County Sheriff's deputy was working to recover a stolen vehicle when he was killed in Detroit in what Sheriff Michael Bouchard called an ambush.

According to Bouchard, Deputy Bradley Reckling and two other detectives with the auto theft unit were looking for a stolen 2022 Chevrolet Equinox on Saturday night after it was reported stolen from Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights earlier in the day. 

Reckling was behind the stolen Equinox in the area of Schoenherr and Park Grove streets on Detroit's east side around 10:50 p.m. when the vehicle suddenly stopped and people got out. The suspects started shooting, hitting Reckling in the head and chest. The two other detectives who were nearby in their own vehicles were not hit. 

Bradley Reckling and his family (Photo: OCSO)

"It was an ambush," Bouchard said.

Bouchard noted that this information is preliminary, as Reckling was in an unmarked vehicle that did not have a dashcam to capture the encounter.

"I think it evolved very quickly," he said.

The sheriff said Detroit police and Michigan State Police quickly responded to the area and set up a perimeter. Three suspects were taken into custody.

Reckling, a nine-year veteran of the force, had three children - aged 5, 4, and 1, and had another child on the way.

Bouchard said the family was going to need support, before detailing the support his deputies also need.

Donations can be made here.

"We need resources," he said, adding that his deputies just handled the Rochester Hills splash pad shooting a week ago. He also noted that they were at the Oxford High School shooting and some responded to the Michigan State University shooting, all events that take a toll on the mental health of law enforcement officers.  

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