Tpr. Paul L. Hutchins was shot to death in the Hart Plaza area of Detroit while attempting to thwart an armed robbery.
Late in the evening of August 29, 1985, Trooper Hutchins and a companion had just left the Landsdowne Restaurant in Detroit and were walking in the Hart Plaza area. They were confronted by two young men, one of whom was armed with a handgun. The man demanded Trooper Hutchins’ wallet and his companion’s purse. After taking these items, the suspects forced the pair to begin walking to a more secluded area nearby. During this time, the suspects noticed the bulge of an additional wallet in Trooper Hutchins’ pocket, and demanded he give it to them. This wallet contained Trooper Hutchins’ badge and police identification. Trooper Hutchins suddenly pushed his companion safely out of the way, and began drawing his snubnose revolver as he ran a short distance away. As he turned and identified himself as a police officer, Trooper Hutchins was shot once in the forehead by the armed suspect. Both suspects immediately fled the scene.
A task force comprised of State Police detectives and officers from the Detroit Police Department thoroughly investigated the crime. In the fall of 1986, indictments were handed down by a grand jury, implicating four members of the Be Like gang. The suspects were tried in Detroit Recorders Court in front of the Honorable Judge Michael Talbot and found guilty of second degree murder. Each was sentenced to 150 - 300 years in prison for the murder of Trooper Hutchins.
Trooper Hutchins was the 39th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.