1 shot, injured by Wyoming police

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A police officer shot and wounded a man who was armed with a knife in Wyoming Monday.

Family members identified the man as Manuel Cavasos, 37. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

An undated courtesy photo of Manuel Cavasos.

It happened around 11:20 a.m. on Walter Street SE between Division and Jefferson avenues. Walter was shut down, as were two parking lots just off of Division, while investigators were on the scene.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the officer-involved shooting, which is standard procedure.

The man’s girlfriend told News 8 she called police after an argument.

The sheriff’s office said that when Wyoming officers arrived minutes later, they found the man was armed with a knife. One of the officers ultimately fired shots.

Emergency responders on Walter Street SE between Division and Jefferson avenues. (Nov. 4, 2019)

It’s not yet clear precisely how many shots were fired, but witnesses told News 8 that it was multiple rounds.

“The police were running with guns drawn and there was shooting. I said, ‘Ernie, you need to turn around because they are shooting toward us,'” said Sheryl Smith, who was going by with her husband.

“They were really fast, just, pop pop pop pop pop pop pop,” Ernie Smith said. “I don’t know how many exactly there was, but there was a lot.”

Officers provided first aid to Cavasos and he was hospitalized.

Family members told News 8 that Cavasos was shot once and that the bullet hit his lung.

They admitted he has a checkered past, but they feel the officer overreacted by pulling the trigger, claiming Cavasos was threatening to hurt himself. They said the officer should have used a Taser instead.

“‘Self harm, that’s what he was telling his girlfriend: ‘Watch what the cops do to me,'” Cavasos’ cousin Abraham Cavasos said. “So obviously he’s been going through a lot with his girlfriend… They’re going through some tough times. But still it’s uncalled for, though. They shot him and he wasn’t even trying to hurt anyone. I understand he had a knife in his hand, I totally get that, but at the end of the day they could’ve tased him. They didn’t have to go ahead and just start shooting my cousin.”

Authorities haven’t released the name of the officer who opened fire. No officers were hurt.

In a Tuesday statement, Wyoming Police Chief Kim Koster said dashcam video captured part of the incident. She said the video would not be released to the public until after the investigation into the shooting is finished:

“The investigation of yesterday’s (Monday) incident is being handled by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. The dash cam video which captured a portion of the incident, including the officer involved shooting, has been logged as evidence and turned over to the Sheriff’s office. Once the investigation is complete, that footage will be available for release.

“As always, we continue to review and assess our policies as well as our equipment needs. Our goal is to continue meeting the needs of our community while keeping our officers safe.”

—News 8’s Heather Walker contributed to this report.

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