Bodycam shows KDPS officer shooting, injuring man

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo police officer shot and wounded a man in the city’s Northside neighborhood early Friday.

It happened around 2 a.m. in the 600 block of Florence Street at Burrell Avenue, west of N. Westnedge Avenues.

The man, a 47-year-old from Kalamazoo whose name was not released Friday, was taken to the hospital and listed in stable condition.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says the situation started with a separate shooting in the neighborhood around 11 p.m. Thursday. In that case, police say, one person was shot and injured but refused medical care from police and wouldn’t say what happened.

Around 2 a.m., an officer heard yelling and then saw an argument happening in the same place where the earlier victim had been found.

Body camera footage of the incident released by KDPS Friday afternoon shows the officer approach a property where people could be heard shouting loudly and swearing.

“He got a gun in his hand,” a bystander can be heard telling the officer.

The officer quickly pulled his sidearm.

“Drop it! Drop the gun!” the officer shouted.

“I don’t-” someone can be heard saying, at which point the officer fired one shot.

About three or four seconds passed between the time the officer pulled his own gun, issued a warning and fired.

The man was hit in the hip, KDPS says.

In the video, the officer can be heard reporting shots fired on his radio. A woman can be heard saying “no, no,” and that her kids were watching.

“Please get back,” the officer can be heard saying to her. “Please get back right now. You guys, please. Please come here. Please get over here. Come on. I want to help him. Please come over here.”

Asked where the gun was, the man who was shot denied he had one. Someone then pointed out a gun on the ground. While the weapon is difficult to see in the video, the segment released appears to end with the officer reaching for it.

KDPS says the officer secured the gun and then started helping the man who had been shot. Chief Vernon Coakley added that the man is expected to survive.

The officer wasn’t hurt.

KDPS also released images of the gun, which had an extended magazine and was loaded, the department says.

Photos released by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety show the gun they say a person was carrying before being shot by a police officer in the early hours of May 21, 2021.

Michigan State Police have been called in to investigate the shooting. The Kalamazoo County prosecutor will then decide whether the shooting was warranted. The officer involved, whose name wasn’t released, is on administrative leave while the process is underway. All of that is standard procedure.

In a prepared statement released with the bodycam video, Coakley said he, MSP, the prosecutor’s office and the city “are all committed to being transparent about this situation.”

“We ask our community to be patient while this investigation is being conducted,” Coakley added.

Despite multiple requests, KDPS refused an interview with News 8 Friday.

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