BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The Battle Creek Police Department held a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss Wednesday’s officer involved shooting that left a woman hospitalized.
According to the Battle Creek Police Department, around 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday, officers were sent to the Summit Pointe to assist with a court-ordered mental health pickup of a 40-year-old Battle Creek woman.
When officers arrived, Summit Pointe staff was speaking to the woman who was in her vehicle with two children, age 9 and 10. The officers attempted to notify her of the court-ordered pickup and take her into custody but were unable to do so and had to breakout the window, Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker said.
The woman then fired a handgun at a Summit Pointe employee from inside her vehicle. The bullet did not hit anyone.
Blocker said that both officers then fired their handguns at the woman to “stop the threat and (were) acting instinctively at the sound of a gunshot, and out of fear that themselves or those they were sworn to protect were in danger, including the young child seated in the front seat.”
“Once they acknowledged and recognized and were able to process that there were children there, they immediately stopped (shooting),” Blocker said, adding that seven shots have been counted in total between the woman and the officers.
The woman then proceeded to hit a police cruiser while driving away.
While the vehicle was moving, a child in the backseat was able to get out and was taken to safety by an employee.
She was found a short time later in the area of Garfield Avenue and Harvard Street, roughly a half a mile away, at a relative’s house with the second child. The woman was taken into custody and is being treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder that is not considered life-threatening.
The two children were unharmed and have been turned into Child Protective Services. Blocker said they are currently in the care of relatives.
Blocker said that the unregistered firearm that was found in the vehicle had malfunctioned.
The uninjured officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, Blocker said.
Of the 1,200 crisis intervention calls, Blocker said that less than 6% have resulted in the use of force, noting that use of force typically refers to the use of handcuffs.
“When you talk about de-escalation with sanctity of life being the primary goal, typically de-escalation can really happen. In most cases it can happen. It doesn’t always but when a firearm is involved, all people agree, at the time officers are going to react the way they’ve been trained, and you can hardly train against these impossible scenarios,” Blocker said.
During the press conference, Blocker shared the security footage from Summit Pointe which is being reviewed during the investigation.
Blocker said that the office of professional standards will be conducting a review of the incident to make sure that the actions of the officers were within policy.
The investigation has been turned over to Michigan State Police.
—Correction: A previous version of this report said body cam footage was released. This is incorrect. We regret the error, which has been fixed.