Killer: Ricky Coley, left, apparently shot officer Patrick O'Rourke, right, when police visited his home in Detroit

A businessman suspected of gunning down an officer who visited his home trying to help him was found dead on Monday evening after a day-long standoff with police.

A search team entered Ricky Coley’s home in an affluent Detroit suburb around 6pm and found his body inside, according to a police spokesman.

Officers had been surrounding the house of the 50-year-old former auto executive since Sunday night, when officer Patrick O’Rourke was shot to death while responding to a report of a possible suicide attempt.

Killer: Ricky Coley, left, apparently shot officer Patrick O’Rourke, right, when police visited his home in Detroit

Coley was having legal and financial problems in his business and was recently divorced.

Mr O’Rourke, 39, was one of four or five officers who responded to the call on Sunday. He was killed when shots were fired through a bedroom door and wall.

Authorities found Coley’s body about an hour after sending in demolition equipment to tear open the house. It was not immediately clear how he died.

At least two armored vehicles were brought to the upscale neighbourhood in West Bloomfield Township, which was evacuated after Mr O’Rourke was gunned down.

Police in the Oakland County community sent a team around 10 pm on Sunday after getting a 911 call saying that Coley had tried to kill himself or needed medical attention, police spokesman Tim Diamond said.

Officers called Coley’s name as they climbed the stairs to the second floor and were met by shots.

Coley was alone in the house on Monday afternoon. Volleys of gunfire were heard hours earlier, but it was unclear who fired them.

Officers closed roads in the area and evacuated at least 10 families from their homes.

Before authorities sent in the big machine, Mr Diamond said the sheriff’s department was ‘trying to persuade this guy into a peaceful resolution.’

Court document show that last week Coley’s wife was granted a divorce and sole custody of the couple’s seven-year-old son, following allegations he cheated on her and attacked her.

Coley headed a private equity firm, CNC Holdings.

The U.S. Labor Department recently filed a lawsuit accusing him of mishandling money that was supposed to cover employee insurance at a trucking company, Translogic Auto Carriers, which has been controlled by CNC since 2008.

The lawsuit says Coley also transferred $342,000 from Translogic to himself or his affiliates. Creditors forced Translogic into bankruptcy court in 2010.

Mr Diamond said relatives called 911 and fled Coley’s home on Sunday after hearing shots. He said the stress of Coley’s divorce and financial problems were probably factors.

Mr O’Rourke, a West Bloomfield officer for 12 years, was married to his high-school sweetheart Amy and had four children.

The policeman’s father told WXYZ he was experiencing ‘a rollercoaster of emotions’ as he paid tribute to a son who was ‘as strong as three men’.


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