Dearborn police station shooting: New details about man killed by officer, how it happened

Police: Deputy shot, suspect and woman injured in southeast Indiana

When a man entered a Dearborn police station and pointed a gun at an officer Sunday, there was bullet-resistant glass between them, but that wasn’t enough to prevent bloodshed.

Ali Naji, 33 — who is believed to have struggled with mental illness — walked into the lobby of the Dearborn Police Department that afternoon with a stolen 9 mm pistol and looked around before an officer in a nearby room entered the lobby, according to Michigan State Police. That’s when, according to police, Naji pointed the gun at the officer and pulled the trigger — but the gun malfunctioned, never firing.

The Dearborn police officer opened a sliding door in the bullet-resistant window and fatally shot Naji multiple times, Lt. Mike Shaw, a spokesperson for Michigan Sate Police, told the Free Press.

There is no true bullet-proof glass, Shaw said, only bullet-resistant products that do not provide full protection.

Various glass manufacturers confirm that several 9 mm rounds can ultimately penetrate many types of bullet-resistant glass.

Attorney Amir Makled, retained by Naji’s family, has acknowledged the threat Naji posed when he pointed the gun at the officer. But Makled argues the killing could have been avoided with proper implementation of police deescalation protocols.

“Officers are trained to and should be skilled at recognizing mental health crises. The deceased was not in a state to know right from wrong,” Makled said.

“At what point did police know that there was someone in the lobby with a firearm? Did they give (Naji) the opportunity and time to comply with the demands of law enforcement? At what point were law enforcement in immediate threat if there’s bullet-proof glass? This is what we’re trying to find out.”

Makled described Naji as a lifelong Dearborn resident who graduated from Fordson High School, loved soccer, and had a bright future ahead of him. He worked as a barber and was hoping to live a productive life with his family. He was recently married, and his wife is pregnant, Makled said.

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