GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Grand Valley State University student shot by an Ottawa Countydeputy told his parents he lifted his right arm to cover his eyesfrom a bright flashlight when the shot was fired.
He told them he didn't know it was a police officer shining thelight.
"He never even had a chance to even see who was coming at him,with a bright flashlight in his face," Sheryl Copp, the mother ofDerek Copp, told 24 Hour News 8. "He had no clue. He heard someoneknock on his door, and he had no clue."
The bullet entered the right side of Copp's upper chest, brokeribs, ruptured his right lung and went through his liver, hisparents said. It remained lodged in his lower back, nearlyprotruding through his skin, they said.
Doctors, they said, were planning to remove the bulletFriday.
Copp, 20, is the middle of three sons of George and Sheryl Coppof Spring Arbor. He hopes to make movies someday, his parentssaid.
"Derek's a great kid; he's really smart; he's a hard worker,"George Copp said. "They portray him as something he's not. He's notperfect, like any kid.
"From what I understand, half the kids in the school may smokepot, and he does, he may, too, but he's not a drug dealer. He's agood kid and he shouldn't have been shot for that."
Copp told his parents that he and his roommate were studyingwhen police knocked on his door.
The deputy, a 12-year veteran, was among five members of theWest Michigan Enforcement Team who raided Copp's apartment atCampus View Apartments just south of the GVSU campus. They hadobtained a search warrant to look for narcotics, state policesaid.
They were entering about 9 p.m. Wednesday through the rearsliding door when the deputy, whose name was not released, firedone shot, police said. That deputy is on paid administrative leavepending the investigation.
Police would not say what kinds of drugs they were looking foror whether they found any evidence of narcotics in the apartment. Copp has not been arrested, nor is there a police guardoutside his hospital room.
They said they don't know whether the deputy felt threatened byCopp, who lived in the apartment.
Copp's parents said they didn't learn about the shooting untiljust before 3 a.m. Thursday -- six hours later. They said a nurseand their son called from the hospital. Copp told his parents hegave police their home number and cell phone numbers. Theyquestioned why police did not call them.
"My son had to call us from his hospital bed that he'd beenshot," Sheryl Copp said.
The Copps immediately headed to the hospital from Spring Arbor."It was the longest two-hour drive of our entire lives."
Copp has no criminal record. "He's a 'today-hippie,'" his mothersaid. "He's a peace-loving guy who wouldn't hurt a fly if it landedon his nose."
State police continue to investigate the shooting, which theysay is going slowly.
"There is a process that has to be followed," said Capt. GaryGorski, head of the state police Sixth District headquarters. "Theprocess is not necessarily a quick process."
When asked if the Ottawa County deputy who fired the shot wastalking with investigators, he said, "Not necessarily. They haverights like anybody else does."
George Copp said his son is awake, but the injuries areconsidered life-threatening. He's "doing pretty good,considering."
As for Copp, he has been in good spirits since the shooting, hisparents said. In fact, he told them, "I'm going to make a movieabout this."
His mother said, "He's really funny, and even though he was insuch bad shape, he kept his humor. He had everybody laughing."
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