High-speed chase ends with driver shot, killed in BC; suspect ID’d

Calhoun County

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A high-speed chase ended with the driver being shot and killed in Battle Creek, police say.

An undated courtesy photo of Brian Douglas Laxton. (Battle Creek Police Department)

On Thursday, the Battle Creek Police Department identified the suspect as Brian Douglas Laxton, 44, of Battle Creek.

Around 3 p.m. Wednesday, an officer with the Albion Department of Public Safety tried to pull over a driver for not having a proper license plate, BCPD Chief Jim Blocker said during a press conference.

The driver fled and led police on a high-speed chase on westbound I-94, reaching speeds of 120 mph, police said. Other agencies joined in the chase and police attempted to use spike sticks to stop him.

The driver exited off of I-94 at Beadle Lake Road, shooting at officers as he drove.

He drove into Battle Creek, where BCPD helped with things like blocking off roads, but did not join in the pursuit.

A Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputy rammed into the suspect vehicle near Horton Street and Willow, which ended the pursuit.

The driver then took off running toward a neighborhood near Post-Franklin School, police said. The suspect then tried to break into a nearby, occupied home.

A BCPD sergeant confronted the driver outside the home and told him multiple times to drop his weapon.

He refused and turned toward the sergeant with his gun in hand, police said. The sergeant shot multiple times.

Officers immediately administered first aid, but the driver was pronounced dead on scene, police said.

Steven Garrett says the suspect tried to break into his home and witnessed the shooting.

“He got out of his car. He started running towards the house and he jumped our back fence and they caught up with him … on our porch and shot him,” Garrett said.

Garrett said he heard officers shouting for the man to drop his weapon and then heard the sergeant fire shots.

“It freaked us out. I didn’t know what was going on … when he tried to get into our house,” Garrett said. “I was so happy we had the doors locked.”

The family says the shooting left a bullet in their wall and caused damage to their doors.

“I’m just grateful nothing happened to me and my family, my wife. It’s just scary. It is. It really is,” Garrett said.

Police did not release the name of the suspect but described him as white male in his 40’s from Battle Creek.

No officers were hurt, BCPD said.

“This was an incredibly dangerous scenario. This was a man that needed to be stopped quickly. I’m grateful for the deputy that rammed the vehicle because he understood the danger,” Blocker said. “This was a chaotic scenario. … I’m really proud of the cool heads and professionalism. And most importantly the fact … that no one else was hurt in this incident, and I think that says a lot about our folks here in Calhoun County.”

Michigan State Police is handling the investigation.

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