Family, co-workers mourn slain West Bloomfield officer: 'We'll take
all the prayers we can get'
2:27 PM, September 10, 2012
A West Bloomfield Township man still barricaded in a house after a
fatally killing a police officer faced a divorce and financial woes,
court records show.
Officer Patrick O’Rourke, 39, a 12-year veteran and married father of
four children, was shot Sunday night as he stood outside a bedroom at
the home in the 4000 block of Forest Edge, off Pontiac Trail east of
The gunman, identified by authorities as Rick Coley, was still in the
home this afternoon as police work to get him out. Pontiac Trail near
Halsted remains closed to families evacuated at about 2 a.m.
Coley, 50, an out-of-work engineer and businessman, had recently seen
problems piling up: A divorce, which required him to leave the home by
today and a federal lawsuit and other troubles over two companies he
was involved with, according to court records and others.
West Bloomfield Police Lt. Timothy Diamond said that the sheriff's
office used robots to try to see inside the house in an effort to end
the stand-off. He said Coley may have fired shots at the robot early
O'Rourke, of Fenton was standing outside a bedroom last night when
shots blasted through the door and wall, Diamond said.
"It's a terrible day," said Diamond.
Family members called police at about 10 p.m. Sunday when Coley fired
a single shot in his bedroom, despondent over a pending divorce,
Diamond said Coley was set to move out of his house when things went
wrong on Sunday.
"His family had apparently come from North Carolina to help him move
back to North Carolina," Diamond said. "And then he decided he wasn’t
going to go."
"Typically, if you only hear one shot, generally somebody has
committed suicide," Diamond said. "They thought they were going in to
The four other officers with O'Rourke were able to get him out of the
house and to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac, where he was declared dead.
The well-liked officer started at the West Bloomfield Police
Department as a cadet in 1997 and became a police officer in 2000
after attending Wayne County Regional Police Academy at Schoolcraft
College, Sgt. Tara Kane said today.
"They're just extremely wonderful, nice people," she said about
O'Rourke and his wife, Amy O'Rourke, 37. The couple has three
daughters: Eileen, 10; Mary, 8, and Andrea, 5. Their son, Stephen, is
9 months old. "He's probably the most-liked person in this building."
The couple became sweethearts at Hartland High School after meeting
while working together at McDonald's. Patrick O'Rourke graduated from
Hartland in 1991; Amy O'Rourke graduated in 1993.
O'Rourke's father-in-law, Steve Corry, 59, of Linden, the family is
relying on their faith and is surrounded by their church family from
St. John Catholic Church in Fenton.
"We’ll take all the prayers we can get," Corry said. "Patrick was a
very strong Catholic and very much appreciated by his church and
church family, so any prayers would be great."
Amy O'Rourke would like those who knew or interacted with her husband
to post thoughts on Facebook, her father said.
Information about an education fund being created by the police
department for the couple's four children will also be posted there
when it is available, Corry said.
"Post favorite memories on Facebook," he said. "She wants memories for
Najab Ayar, who lives next door to Coley on the quiet street,
describes Coley as a "family man," who was having family issues and
possibly financial problems.
"I would not believe he would do such a thing, I would not even dream
it," Ayar said. "I saw (his wife) on the street last night and said,
"Have you talked to him?' She just said no. She said, 'Too many
problems.' That's all she said."
He said Coley has an engineering degree and owns a local trucking
"Hopefully some sense will come to his mind and he will think about
his son, and come out and get it over with peacefully," Ayar said.
"That is what we're praying for."
Online court records indicate Coley’s wife, Deniece Coley, sued for
divorce in Oakland County in June. The records list a case disposition
date of Aug. 30, with a judgment being prepared.
According to court documents, Deniece Coley moved out of the family’s
home on June 12.
The couple, who were married in Pontiac in November 1998, have a 7-
Deniece Coley claims her husband physically attacked her on June 12
and that he had threatened to take their son. She claims that he’s
been unfaithful and is under psychological counseling.
She also said in the complaint that he has not worked for the past
three years “though physically and otherwise qualified to work,”
noting that Coley has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and an MBA.
Coley was sued by Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, in federal
court in Bay City in August, accused of transferring $341,946 from a
company that CNC Holdings had acquired a controlling interest in in
2008 to himself or his affiliates.
Coley’s LinkedIn page lists him as chairman emeritus and the former
private equity executive director for CNC Holdings.
Federal court documents show that the other company, Translogic Auto
Carriers, which ceased operations in 2010, had been withholding money
from its employees’ paychecks during this period but failed to send
the money to an employee dental, vision and life insurance plan, which
was ultimately canceled.
More than $17,313 in employee claims were denied.
According to what appears to be his Facebook page, Coley was born in
Goldsboro, N.C., studied industrial and systems engineering at Georgia
Tech, received an MBA at Queens University of Charlotte and attended
the North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham.
Coley’s LinkedIn page says he had worked for Ford until January 2008
as North American plants operations manager/director, had worked for
UPS and General Motors.
The page also says he was a 2nd lieutenant in the Army’s Infantry
Reserve, serving in Charlotte, and a specialist 4th class/corporal-
nuclear artillery in Augsburg, formerly West Germany.
Neighbor Renee Poota, 33, who lives across the street, watched in
horror Sunday night as O'Rourke was shot.
"It was very scary," she said. "I just saw the police break into the
house, and there was shooting. And I guess it was the police (officer)
that just passed away, they were carrying him out and there was an
ambulance. It started around 10 o'clock last night and the shooting
was around 11:15."
Poota said she doesn't know Coley.
Police called Poota's home at about 4:30 a.m. today, telling her that
she, her husband and their four children ages 6 to 13, needed to
"They said you have to leave and your house is the most dangerous
house because it’s across the street," she said from a relative's home
Diamond said counselors have been working overnight with the West
Bloomfield Township police officers, fire department personnel and
dispatchers involved in the situation.
"The officers who responded are pretty shaken up, so they haven't been
interviewed intensely, and they probably won't be for a couple of
days," Diamond said.
At Pleasant Lake Elementary School on Halsted Road about a half-mile
from the shooting scene, school remained in session even as Wayne
County Sheriff's Office cars guarded the school entrance. One school
mother said she worried about her child being in school and whether
the gunman was contained at the scene.
But Judy Evola, spokeswoman for Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, said
the district had been in constant contact with authorities about the
standoff and "there is no danger" to the children. "In fact school is
probably the safest place for them," she said.
West Bloomfield Township Police Chief Michael Patton is expected to
make a statement later today, Diamond said.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon today expressed his condolences
and offers sympathy and prayers to the family of the fallen officer,
his colleagues and friends.
“To learn that a veteran officer has been lost saddens us all to the
core because we know he selflessly made the greatest sacrifice,"
Napoleon said in a statement.
"My prayers go out to his loved ones and friends.”
Elton Black & Son in Highland is handling the pending funeral
arrangements for O’Rourke.