Ricky Coley, who was a director at CNC Holding and a former logistics executive at Ford, has died following a gun battle with police in the West Bloomfield Township district of Detroit that also left one police officer dead.
Coley is suspected of having committed suicide following a siege at his home that lasted 20 hours. Preliminary reports indicate 50-year old Coley, who authorities said was facing legal and financial problems and was recently divorced, died of a self-inflicted wound on Monday and was reported to be found on a bed at his residence surrounded by knives and other weapons.
Police surrounded his house last Sunday evening following the shooting of officer Pat O’Rourke who was responding to a report of a possible suicide attempt or medical emergency at Coley’s address. O’Rourke, who had served with the police for 12 years, died of his injuries in nearby McLaren hospital in Pontiac. A vigil for the officer took place on Tuesday night.
Coley, a former vehicle logistics director and plant operations manager at Ford, who also worked for GM as global information centre manager, was more recently a private equity executive director at CNC Holdings, which controlled Translogic Auto Carriers. The US Labor Department had recently filed a lawsuit against Coley accusing him of mishandling money that was supposed to cover employee insurance at the vehicle carrier.
According to press reports the lawsuit details Coley had also transferred $342,000 from Translogic to himself and creditors forced the trucking company into bankruptcy court in 2010.
The Detroit News also reported that Coley had been ordered to vacate the house or face eviction as part of a divorce judgment of his 13-year marriage.
Following the 20-hour standoff with police in which Coley is reported to have exchanged “hundreds of rounds of gunfire” and which necessitated the evacuation of 15 families in the neighbourhood, the police used construction equipment to smash a hole in the wall of the second-floor residence and sent in a robot which relayed his position.
The investigation continues.