A police officer has undergone potentially life saving surgery after he was shot in the head while on duty near a college in downtown Detroit.

Collin Rose, 29, was shot just a few blocks from Wayne State University about 6.45pm on Tuesday, and was then rushed to the Detroit Receiving Hospital for surgery.

He is now listed as being in a critical, but stable, condition and is recovering with his family. Rose has been with the force for about five years.

Deangelo Davis had been named as a person of interest in the shooting, according to ClickOn Detroit, before he was taken into custody about 9:45pm.

The officer was shot shortly after radioing to say he was approaching a man while investigating car robberies.

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Wayne State University police Chief Anthony Holt told reporters it had been a ‘traumatic episode’ but stressed how thrilled he was that Rose had come out of surgery.

Police carried out a ‘massive manhunt’ prior to Davis’ arrest, after initial reports said officers were searching for a black man in his 40s, wearing a white t-shirt and a skull cap and a brown jacket.

Davis was riding a blue BMX at the time of the shooting, according to Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Craig then linked the attack to other police shootings across the country in recent days.

‘It appears a similar type of situation here, an investigation and a suspect, for no apparent reason, decides to shoot an officer,’ he said. ‘So it’s very troubling. It’s a sad day, and we’re just hoping for his recovery.’

Wayne State University has more than 27,000 students and is located in the heart of Detroit.

Several dozen armed officers from the Detroit police and Michigan state police were seen in the residential area of Woodbridge near campus.

The shooting follows four recent incidents in which law enforcement officers were shot.

The shootings of police officers in Texas and Missouri on Sunday were the latest in what law enforcement officials say is an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks.

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A San Antonio detective was fatally shot by Otis Tyrone McKane, and a St. Louis officer survived being shot twice in the face by 19-year-old George P. Bush III.

Police officers were also shot and injured during traffic stops in Sanibel, Florida, and Gladstone, Missouri, on Sunday night, allegedly by 49-year-old Jon Webster Hay and Jacob Stevens, 18, respectively.

Authorities did not suggest those two were targeted attacks.

One-third of police officers shot to death on the job this year were purposely targeted by their assailant, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

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