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Amherst auxiliary officer fatally shot in Detroit

An Amherst auxiliary police officer was shot to death in Northwest Detroit early this week, in a mysterious shooting that left shell casings from two weapons at the shooting scene.

Brother L. Caver, 63, who lived in Amherst Manor, was shot multiple times shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday, authorities said. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.

Detroit police notified their Amherst counterparts because Caver's auxiliary police badge and ID were found on his body.

"Basically, he was very well liked by all the officers and the public," said Capt. Michael Zekas, director of the Amherst police auxiliary. "He was always willing to help out with the details and events."

Caver started with the Amherst police auxiliary in 1998, according to department records. Those officers assist police in various events throughout the year, including parades, traffic control and escorting prisoners. They do not carry weapons and have no arrest powers.

"They're basically citizens who volunteer to help us out," Amherst Police Capt. Patrick McKenna said.

Caver was in Detroit for the funeral of his brother-in-law last weekendand was staying with relatives, according to broadcast reports from Michigan.

"As I understand it, he was at the house with some relatives and was in the process of taking out trash cans when people heard gunshots," said Deputy Chief John M. Roach, a Detroit police spokesman.

Investigators combing the shooting scene found shell casings with the same caliber as Caver's .38-caliber handgun, Roach said.

"Several shots were fired from a weapon that matched the caliber of his weapon," Roach said. "There were 9 mm casings at the scene, as well. So there were two handguns that were fired."

Detroit detectives have stopped short of concluding that Caver was killed in a shootout between him and an assailant. And they haven't said whether they think Caver could have been killed while fighting back against a robber.

"At this point, we don't have a lot of good leads," Roach said. "We have somewhat conflicting accounts, so we're trying to reconcile them."

Investigators also haven't determined a motive.

"Until we have a clear picture of what played out, we can't assign a motive to it," Roach said.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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