CHARLESTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Galesburg-area man said he was watching TV Saturday night when he heard gunshots, then went outside to find a sheriff’s deputy had been shot.
“It all happened really quickly,” the man said. “Stuff like that does.”
The man, a local farmer who asked not to be identified, lives on MN Avenue near 38th Street in Charleston Township. That’s where Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Proxmire was shot as he chased a suspect.
It was about 9:30 p.m., the farmer said, when he and his wife heard two loud bangs.
“‘Sound like gunshots. One was a little more blunt than the first one,’ she said,” he said of his wife. “We looked out the window saw the lights a flashing and the siren going.”
The cruiser was sitting in the middle of the road and other cars were going around. The farmer’s wife said he should go take a look.
“I was the first one to really visualize what had taken place,” the farmer said.
He got in his car and went out to the road, pulling over by the cruiser.
“Something was wrong. I knew something was wrong,” he said.
He got a flashlight.
“When I shined the light in the car, I saw that he was slumped over the center console and was shot in the head,” the farmer said.
The deputy was unresponsive, he said. Soon, a second deputy pulled up and started CPR.
“That didn’t seem to work,” the farmer recounted. “Another officer pulled up. We put the officer (Proxmire) in the backseat of the car and they took off to the hospital with him.”
Proxmire was pronounced dead at the hospital Sunday.
The man who authorities say shot him, 35-year-old Kyle Goidosik of Vicksburg, continued to lead deputies on a chase. He crashed into a field south of the village of Climax, at which point authorities say he started shooting at deputies again. They returned fire. Goidosik died at the scene.
The farmer said Monday that he wishes he could have done more to help Proxmire. He said the image of the deputy will stay with him.
“It’s not something you want to experience,” he said. “But I feel so sorry for the family, I really do, and the rest of the law enforcement officers that do their job and things and have to end up in a situation like this.”