Man charged with illegally buying gun for teen who fatally shot Detroit police officer

DETROIT – A 26-year-old man was charged Sunday for illegally purchasing a firearm for another man who is accused of using that gun to shoot and kill a Detroit police officer.

Sheldon Thomas, of Detroit, was charged Sunday, July 10, with the illegal straw purchase of a firearm that was later used by a shooter in the killing of Detroit police officer Loren Courts. Thomas is accused of buying a pistol from a gun store in Eastpointe on June 7, and then later that day meeting up with another man in a nearby parking lot to sell the gun.

Photos of the exchange can be seen above. Officials say the interaction was captured on surveillance cameras.

The man who purchased the firearm from Thomas was identified as Ehmani Davis, 19, who is accused of fatally shooting Courts on Wednesday, July 6. Courts and his partner were responding to a scene in Detroit that evening, in which the officer and father of two was shot and killed.


Davis was killed by officers who returned fire.

More: ‘I’m sad that we don’t get to hug him again’: Wife of fallen Detroit police officer speaks out

According to a press release from the US Department of Justice, Thomas allegedly made false statements when purchasing the firearm, saying he was buying it for himself and not for another person. Purchasing a firearm for someone who is legally prohibited from possessing one can be chargeable with 10 years prison time, US Attorney Dawn Ison said Sunday.

Thomas was arraigned virtually Sunday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and is being detained until July 12, officials said.

Learn more: ‘They were ambushed’: Detroit police describe events that led to officer’s murder, praise partner’s heroism


You can read the entire criminal complaint against Thomas below.

Related: Fallen Detroit officer followed his father into police work: ‘Simply loved his family’

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