GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department incident report for the shooting of Patrick Lyoya includes a statement from the first officer on scene in which he described finding Officer Chris Schurr’s Taser, which Schurr and Lyoya had been grappling over, under Lyoya’s body.
GRPD released the incident report, forensics report, use of force report, as well as recordings of police, fire and medical radio traffic, to News 8 Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The shooting happened April 4 after Officer Chris Schurr pulled Patrick Lyoya over. Video previously released by GRPD shows Lyoya ran away from Schurr and there was a struggle that included Lyoya grabbing Schurr’s Taser. Schurr, who was on top of Lyoya trying to hold him down, ultimately shot Lyoya in the back of the head.
In the incident report, Sgt. Tim Johnston describes being the first officer to arrive after the shooting.
“I arrived onscene and saw Officer Schurr taking cover behind a tree on the parkway which was about 20 feet south of the location of his cruiser. I observed one male lying face down… The man’s hand was concealed underneath his body near his waist possibly concealing a weapon. I did not know if the suspect had shot at Officer Schurr, but Officer Schurr had stated that he was ’10-4′ just before I arrived,” Johnston wrote.
“A suspect vehicle (tan Nissan Altima) was in front of Officer Schurr’s fully marked GRPD police cruiser, which had it’s overhead lights activated,” Johnston continued. “The passenger side door of the Nissan was standing open and a second subject who had presumably exited the vehicle was standing beside the Nissan on the passenger side next to the open door.”
Johnston said he drew his gun on the passenger and started issuing orders to him in an effort to secure the scene.
“He was slow to follow direction and would not keep his hands up on his head,” Johnston wrote. “I had to give repeated commands before he would comply.”
Johnston wrote he suspected the man was drunk or high.
Once that man was secured and the car cleared, Johnston said he and other officers who had arrived approached Lyoya, who wasn’t moving.
“As we approached I observed a black angular object partially visible under the suspect’s left hip and initially thought it was the grip of a handgun, but as I got close enough to grab onto him I then was able to distinguish that it was Officer Schurr’s Body Camera that had apparently been dislodged during the struggle,” Johnston wrote. “I rolled the subject over, rolling him … onto his back. I observed that Officer Schurr’s Taser was lying underneath the suspect where his hand had been and also Officer Schurr’s Body Worn Camera, which was still recording.”
The Taser had been deployed twice, but neither time hit Lyoya or the officer.
Johnston wrote that he checked Lyoya and did not find a pulse. CPR was attempted and an AED used to attempt to revive Lyoya, but he was dead.
The documents indicate that after Schurr shot Lyoya, he did not take any other action at the scene. He was directed to sit in a cruiser, drank some water, was checked out by EMTs and then taken to GRPD headquarters downtown.
The police reports say the scene was secured. Officers started looking to collect nearby home surveillance video. Others canvassed the neighborhood to talk to neighbors.
In the incident report, one officer wrote that he talked to a neighbor who said that he saw Lyoya grab Schurr’s Taser.
“(The witness) stated that the Officer deployed the Taser but it didn’t work and the two were still tussling and the suspect tried to take the Taser,” the document reads in part. “I asked him if he saw the suspect point the Taser at the Officer and he stated, ‘No they were tussling and he took it away.'”
GRPD included a copy of the use of force report in its FOIA response but nearly all of it was redacted, including the “reason for officer reaction” check boxes. It did mark “yes” in a section labeled “weapon?” but everything under “how was weapon used/allegedly by subject?” was blacked out.
Not redacted were the check boxes for types of force, in which firearm, hand strikes, knee strikes, ECD (which stands for electronic control device, or a Taser) and tackle were checked.
A forensics report included in the FOIA response states photos of Schurr were taken but redacts a sentence about those photos. It says photos show Schurr’s Taser holster was empty. Schurr’s gun, spare magazines, uniform and other equipment were collected as evidence and handed over to Michigan State Police, who were tasked with investigating the shooting.
MSP said it sent its case to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker on Thursday, but it is still waiting on forensic reports from the manufacturer of the officer’s body camera and Taser. Becker said he will not decide whether the shooting was justified or whether charges are warranted without that information.