KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The parents of a Vicksburg man who authorities say shot and killed a Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputy before dying in an exchange of gunfire with other deputies on Tuesday offered their condolences to Deputy Ryan Proxmire’s family.
Proxmire, 39, was shot Saturday night while chasing Kyle Goidosik’s van south of Galesburg. The deputy died Sunday afternoon.
After Proxmire was shot, Goidosik continued to flee, authorities say. Other deputies kept chasing him until he crashed into a field out of the village of Climax. There was an exchange of gunfire and Goidosik died.
PARENTS: GOIDOSIK ‘TORMENTED’ BY MENTAL ILLNESS
In their statement, Goidosik’s parents Gary and Kim Goidosik said they felt “deep sorrow” for Proxmire’s death and also mourned their son.
They said their son was not well, saying he was “tormented by invasive and irrational thoughts.”
His mental health struggles date back at least to August 2013, when his father asked the Kalamazoo County Probate Court to order him to undergo examination. In documents filed with the court, Gary Goidosik wrote that his son was “exhibit(ing) paranoia.” He said his son believed explosives were “planted in house – in everything” and was worried that they would go off. He was also talking about harming himself.
“Has gone into a rage and shoved me and making threats of harm,” his father’s petition added. “His mother has reported he shoved her and has also threatened her.”
He checked a box indicating he thought his son could “be reasonably expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure self or others.”
State police and court records show Kyle Goidosik, 35, had been arrested twice within the last year for assaulting his father and for weapons and meth charges.
GOIDOSIK WAS RECENTLY LIVING IN HIS CAR
In May, a Galesburg-area man found Goidosik living in a car on his property off of South 36th Street.
“He was a unique-looking character,” said the landowner, who didn’t want to be identified. “At that time, he didn’t have a shaved head; he had some hair and a scruffy beard.”
He said he found Goidosik sleeping in the parked car.
“(I was) a little nervous at first because he was rough individual, looked like he had been sleeping in cars for a few days,” he said.
The landowner said he asked Goidosik if he had any weapons.
“Because I was very concerned,” he explained. “And he said, no, he didn’t like firearms. I said, ‘You mind if I look around in the car?’ And he said go ahead, so I did kind of look around in the car but it was such a filthy vehicle, just filled with clothes and food wrappers.”
The landowner says he was concerned.
“I asked him if he was OK he said he said, ‘Not really.’ And I said, ‘Well, what’s the problem?’ And he said, you know, everything’s horrible in his life,” he recalled.
The landowner said he offered help, naming off mental health programs in Kalamazoo, but Goidosik responded that he had it under control.
“I think Kyle Goidosik was suffering from mental illness and have been suffering from mental illness for a long time,” the landowner said.
In their Tuesday statement, Goidosik’s parents said they hoped there would be better ways to help people suffering from mental illness in the future.
Full statement from the Goidosiks:
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our deep sorrow over the death of Officer Ryan Proxmire and extend our condolences to his family and friends.
“We also grieve the loss of Kyle, who for years was tormented by invasive and irrational thoughts.
“This was another senseless and terrible tragedy that the American people have witnessed by one suffering from delusional and irrational thoughts.
“It is my hope that we, as a community, can find a way to help those in need.
“We ask that the members of the media allow our family the privacy we need to grieve these tragic losses.
“Thank you.”Gary Goidosik and Kim Goidosik (Parents of Kyle Goidosik)
COMMUNITY RUSHES TO AID PROXMIRE FAMILY
The landowner on whose property Goidosik was living also knew Proxmire from patrolling his road, calling him a “hard-working, honest deputy.”
The Collin Rose Foundation, named for a Wayne State University officer originally from Richland who was killed in the line of duty in 2016, launched an online fundraiser to raise money for Proxmire’s wife and four children. It set a goal of $4,607, referencing Proxmire’s badge number. In less than two days, it has raised about $19,000.
The ForeverStrong Foundation, which was formed in the aftermath of the 2016 Kalamazoo shooting spree, said it will be selling T-shirts to honor Proxmire and that all proceeds would go to his family.
*Correction: A previous version of this article stated Sgt. Collin Rose was from Schoolcraft. He was actually from Richland. We regret the error, which has been fixed.