‘It was an ambush’: Everything we know after Oakland County deputy shot, killed (2024)

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – An Oakland County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed on Saturday night was remembered by colleagues as a hard working cop and a dedicated father and husband.

Oakland County sheriff Michael Bouchard held a press conference at noon on Sunday, June 23, to provide information about the shooting to the public. Bouchard said that deputy Bradley Reckling was working for the auto theft unit and following a stolen vehicle in Detroit when the suspects opened fire, striking him multiple times and killing him.

Reckling was among three deputies from the auto theft unit who were searching for a stolen 2022 Chevrolet Equinox. The vehicle had been stolen sometime between 1 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. from the Red Oaks Waterpark in Oakland County on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

Bouchard said Reckling was in an unmarked car when he located and began following the stolen vehicle, which means dashcam footage is not available. The preliminary investigation indicates that the vehicle suddenly stopped, the people inside the stolen vehicle got out, and opened fire on deputy Reckling. He was struck multiple times, including in the head and torso.

“The car suddenly stopped. Individuals exited that stolen vehicle and opened fire on our deputy. It was an ambush. That obviously triggered a whole bunch of things. The deputy was struck in the head, struck in the chest, the torso area. At 22:50 the officer down call went out. Obviously Detroit police and Michigan State Police flooded the area very quickly; I’d like to thank and commend them for that,” Bouchard said.

The officer down call went out at 10:50 p.m. Detroit police and Michigan State Police rushed to the scene and set up a perimeter. Three people were arrested within that perimeter. Bouchard said more information about the suspects will come from Detroit police.

Bouchard calls for support, funding for mental health

Bouchard called for more resources to assist staff with mental health.

“Looking in the face of our people and seeing their pain, it’s been tough on them. You know, we lost deputy [Eric] Overall, then we had COVID, then we had Oxford, then a lot of the same people went to MSU, then they were at the splash pad. And now this. And it kind of -- it’s like a boxer -- you wonder how many punches they can get and still stay standing.

“But, the first thing I’d say is that I’m super proud of our people, the way they have stayed standing, the way they have showed up and continued to do amazing things every day. But we need to support them. I said after the splash pad that we need more resources for the community at large; mental health resources. But we need it in public safety. Peer-to-peer programs are vastly underfunded across this country.

“We know that in the last couple years, line of duty deaths have been terrible, ambushes are up dramatic, now we have another example of that. The one thing that most people don’t realize is that officer-involved suicides outstrip the number of line of duty deaths the last couple years. So the pressure on law enforcement, on public safety in general, is huge and it’s taking its toll. And we need resources.”

Bouchard called on government officials to offer more funding for first responders. He called on the county commission and county executives office to have an emergency appropriation to add one more full time peer-to-peer person to their staff. He said they currently have one now, and the reason they have is because he cut another position. He said to only have one peer-to-peer person on staff for the almost 1,500-person agency means the department is vastly under resourced.

“Every day they are dealing with other events. Multiple fatalities in car accidents that we’ve dealt with in the last seven days. A child investigation where the child died from abuse. They see these things every day, and you can’t unsee them. And so we need to resource them with support to help them process that. So, that’s what people can do for public safety.”

Remembering deputy Bradley Reckling

According to Bouchard, Reckling has a pregnant wife, a 1-year-old child, 4-year-old child, and a 5-year-old child.

His family wanted the public to hear from people who worked with Reckling and knew who he was and what he was like. Reckling had been working at the Rochester Hills substation and had just recently moved over to the auto theft unit.

During the press conference, Bouchard read the following statements from Reckling’s colleagues:

Rochester Hills substation commander: “Detective Brad Reckling was one of the best deputies and detectives I’ve ever worked with. He was one of the hardest working cops I knew. He will be missed dearly by me and many others. He personally touched so many with his larger than life personality. Brad was on Rochester Hills patrol prior to him coming to our detective bureau there and there was a bank robbery that some thought was unsolvable. Brad spent hours researching the vehicle and ended up finding it on sale on Facebook marketplace and ended up breaking the case wide open. And that was just one example of Brad’s work ethic.”

Deputy Nicholas Bohun: “Brad was always there to lend a helping hand. He loved his family more than anything. He was a great cop, but even a better friend, and father, and husband.”

Deputy Nathan Rogers: Brad and I grew up in this department together. From working in the jail to studying for promotions to enduring and graduating from the academy together. Brad was one of the most selfless colleagues and one of the most dedicated husbands I’ve ever seen to Jackie and the best father to his girls. There’s no other way to describe him other than just the best person.

Deputy Matthew Morrison: Brad was a loving husband, father, and amazing friend. He loved the outdoors. He was an amazing fisherman, loved to hunt, and enjoyed growing his farm and raising animals. Brad spent several months remodeling his home, giving his wife and three girls the best place to call home. Anyone who knew Brad knows it doesn’t take long for him to start cracking jokes and get him laughing. He was a great worker and amazing friend who would do anything for anyone. He was a prime example of what great parent, husband, and friends means, and he is loved by many and will be truly missed.

Bouchard said anyone looking to support Reckling’s family at this time can contribute to the Mission Oakland charity. He said 100% of donations will go to the family without any fees or deductions. People who wish to donate should put in the memo that the money is for deputy Reckling.

Copyright 2024 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.

‘It was an ambush’: Everything we know after Oakland County deputy shot, killed (2024)

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