WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The suspect who was shot by a Michigan State Police trooper Monday night remained hospitalized and was expected to undergo surgery Tuesday.
Police have identified the suspect only as a 36-year-old white man from the Middleville area.
He was shot while police were attempting to arrest him on four felony warrants Monday evening. Investigators say police received information that the man would be in the parking lot at the Thornapple Valley Church on M-43 near Hastings. A trooper went there and spotted the suspect’s vehicle. The driver tried to get away, police said, but the trooper blocked him from exiting the lot. Police said the suspect got out of his vehicle with what looked like a gun. The suspect ignored commands to drop the gun and was ultimately shot by the trooper. The suspect’s gun was later found to be an airsoft pistol.
On Tuesday, police declined to say how many times the man was shot or where.
Lt. Angel Ouwinga of MSP’s Wayland Post said she believed the officer acted in accordance with department policy.
“Obviously at that point the trooper … for his safety, if he believes that the person could use that firearm to harm him, has to take that appropriate action to ensure that doesn’t happen,” Ouwinga told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.
Ouwinga said the “younger” trooped involved had been with the Wayland post for the past year after transferring there from Lansing. She said the trooper was shaken by the incident but “doing good” considering the circumstances.
“We don’t ever want to do harm on anybody but at the same time, the nature of our job … we’ve got to take our safety into account and the safety of the public,” Ouwinga said.
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting, which is standard protocol.
“It could have been absolutely a lot worse, so thankfully everybody’s alright,” Ouwinga said.