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Hero Down: Detroit Police Officer Maria Martin Killed By Cop Boyfriend In Murder-Suicide

Livonia, MI – Detroit Police Department (DPD) Officer Maria Martin was fatally shot by her boyfriend during a domestic disturbance at her home on Feb. 19.

According to police records, Livonia Police Department (LPD) Officer William Doster had just cleared from an unrelated alarm call and was driving down the street when he was flagged down by a motorist at approximately 12:17 p.m., The Eagle-Tribune reported.

The woman identified herself as Officer Martin’s mother.

She told Officer Doster that she had been on the phone with her 22-year-old daughter between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. that day when an argument broke out between her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, 26-year-old DPD Officer Matthew Ethington, The Eagle-Tribune reported.

The woman said “she could hear Maria and Matthew arguing before the phone call abruptly ended,” according to Officer Doster’s report.

She said she repeatedly tried to reach Officer Martin throughout the morning, but that her calls went unanswered.

Officer Martin’s eldest child was with her mother at the time, but she and Officer Ethington had a one-year-old son who was believed to be with them inside their Livonia townhouse, The Eagle-Tribune reported.

The woman gave Officer Doster a garage door opener for the couple’s home so police could gain entry to the residence.

Police arrived at the Belle Creek Square townhome in the 16000-block of Farmington Road at approximately 12:30 p.m., WXYZ reported.

“The pedestrian door into the residence from the garage was closed but unlocked,” the LPD report read, according to The Eagle-Tribune. “A small flight of stairs curved up and around into the living room, where officers immediately saw the deceased body of Matthew at the top of the stairs in the room’s southeast corner. Matthew appeared to have a fatal gunshot wound to the head.”

A gun was recovered near his feet and investigators located multiple casings throughout the living room area, according to investigators.

Police said they found Officer Martin’s body lying in the northwest corner of the home beside a couch.

She had been shot repeatedly, WDIV reported.

Officer Ethington died of a single gunshot wound investigators said was self-inflicted.

“It appears to be domestic,” DPD Chief James White confirmed during a press conference later that afternoon. “It looks like – preliminarily – a murder-suicide.”

Officer Doster said he heard crying coming from another area of the home and found a one-year-old boy wandering around the master bedroom, The Eagle-Tribune reported.

“[He] appeared to be uninjured and was walking around near the foot of the bed in a heavily soiled diaper,” the officer wrote. “I picked [him] up while the other officers on scene finished clearing the residence. I then carried [the baby] out of the residence and turned him over to [his grandmother].”

Chief White said the “senseless tragedy” marked a “sad day for our department.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, as well as our officers…who are taking it pretty hard,” the chief added.

Both officers had been with the Detroit Police Department (DPD) for less than five years, WJBK reported.

Officer Martin leaves behind her two children.

A fundraising page established to help her family in the wake of their loss has raised more than $4,400 so far.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Detroit Police Department Officer Maria Martin, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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