DETROIT - Adaisha Miller was on her knees while dancing behind an off-duty Detroit police officer early Sunday when his holstered gun fired, striking her in the chest, a police official familiar with the investigation told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday.
The official said that explains how Miller was shot in the chest while dancing behind Officer Isaac Parrish during a fish fry early Sunday at his home on Archdale.
The official said the angle of the gunshot is possible because Miller was not standing and described it as some type of "exotic dance" where Miller, 24, was tugging at Parrish's waist.
Miller's family members strongly disputed that account Tuesday.
"That's just not plausible," said Yolanda McNair, Miller's mother.
McNair said she was told by witnesses at the hospital that her daughter and Parrish were side by side and she got a birthday hug from Parrish when the gun went off. Miller, who would have been 25 on Monday, was celebrating her birthday over the weekend and went to the party with two friends, relatives said. The Free Press has been unable to reach her friends for comment.
McNair said a doctor told her a bullet went into Miller's lung and hit her heart.
"If she was on her knees, she would have got hit in the head," McNair said.
McNair also questioned why Miller would be on her knees dancing with a stranger since she and Parrish didn't know each other. She also questioned how someone dances on their knees.
"We deserve the truth," McNair said. "We can't get her back."
Eddie Miller, Adaisha Miller's father, said the family is hearing different accounts of what happened at the party.
"I'm not going to say how she got shot because we don't know," he said. "We're trying to get some answers. That's all were trying to do."
Adaisha Miller's mother said she hasn't heard from police since they told her on Sunday that they were investigating her daughter's death.
Parrish, a 16-year veteran of the force, has been placed on administrative restricted duty. No one answered the door at his home on the city's west side Tuesday.
Police say preliminary findings show the shooting appears to be an accident, and Parrish did not touch his gun, which was in a soft holster on the right side of his waist.
It is optional for Detroit police officers to carry their weapons while off-duty.
The official said police did not give Parrish a Breathalyzer, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor. The source added there was no odor of intoxicants, the officer's speech was not slurred and he took a field sobriety test.
According to department policy, "off-duty officers are prohibited by state law from carrying a firearm if their blood alcohol level is 0.02 percent or above."
It's unclear whether Miller had been drinking when the shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
The early investigation shows the holster Parrish was using may have allowed the trigger of his gun to be "manipulated" while the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 was stored.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said at a news conference Monday that the department does not have a policy regarding what holsters off-duty officers should use. Also, he said the department-issued gun didn't have an external safety, but it had one in the trigger.
In most incidents, he said, a weapon "does not go off without the trigger being engaged in some manner."
)2012 Detroit Free Press
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