Vigil tonight for firefighter murdered just months before he planned to retire

Detroit firefighter David Madrigal was found murdered in his house.
Detroit firefighter David Madrigal was found murdered in his house.

After spending 25 years fighting fires in Detroit, David Madrigal was preparing to retire next year to enjoy his life as a grandfather but continue his long-time commitment to helping struggling families and the homeless.

Those plans came to a sad, unexpected ending Monday evening after his son found Madrigal, 59, dead from blunt force trauma to the head at his west-side Detroit home on Monday evening.

Police are looking for tips in a death that has been ruled a homicide. Police originally reported that Madrigal was shot in the head, but an autopsy by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office found that the injuries were from some type of blunt force trauma.

Items from his home and SUV were stolen.

Firefighters are holding a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. today at Engine 33, at 1041 Lawndale. Everyone is welcome.

Firefighters said Madrigal committed his life to helping others and raising a family.

“He was a super good guy,” said Mike Nevin, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association.


Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.