ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the fatal shooting of an unarmed man April 10 by a Royal Oak police officer.
Antonino Thomas Gordon, 28, of Commerce Township, was fatally shot while in line at a White Castle drive-thru near 13 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak. Police said the incident started at about 6 p.m. when a Royal Oak police officer attempted to stop a BMW driven by Gordon on Woodward Avenue near 13 Mile Road. It is unclear why a traffic stop was initiated.
Police said the driver fled.
“He was stopped and then he fled from the officer and he went actually through that White Castle parking lot, too,” said Royal Oak Police Chief Corey O’Donohue. “Then the officer lost him in traffic after that.”
The same officer saw the same vehicle a short time later in the drive-thru of a White Castle restaurant in the area of 13 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.
“Fifteen minutes later, (he) got in line and was picking up food at the drive-thru,” said O’Donohue.
The officer exited his vehicle with his gun drawn.
“The officer approached the driver at that point, and our officer shot at the driver, striking him,” said the chief.
After being shot, the driver fled eastbound and crashed head-on into a minivan 1/4 of a mile away on 13 Mile Road, near Shenandoah Drive.
It’s still unclear why the officer fired at Gordon. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the deadly shooting. The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave.
The Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office is now reviewing the case.
On April 13, the attorney representing Gordon’s family said his body was taken into family custody and was set to be autopsied independently.
Several witnesses said they saw the whole incident.
“We saw the cop pull up to White Castle, and we saw him get out and draw his gun immediately. We heard four or five gunshots,” said one witness. “We could see him swerving and driving really slow, and he looked out of it. And then he just started coasting into oncoming traffic, and I assumed that he passed out.”
According to officials with the Royal Oak Police Department, Gordon had a criminal bench warrant for his arrest.
Family questions fatal police shooting
Local attorney Joseph Dedvukaj said his niece was married to Antonino, or “Nino,” as his family called him. He said this just doesn’t make sense.
“We are outraged,” Dedvukaj said. “This police officer drew his weapon, pointed it at the driver and pulled the trigger four or more times.”
Local 4 did obtain Gordon’s criminal record, dating back to November 2007. His most recent charge is driving with a suspended license in October of 2017, but Dedvukaj said police couldn’t have known about Gordon’s record at the time of the shooting.
“He was driving my brother’s car, who loaned it to my niece for a couple of days. So after the fact, they are now trying to cover up and control the damages,” Dedvukaj said.