Wife warned of gun, threats before deputies killed man

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

PENNFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — In a frantic call to 911 over the weekend, a woman warned dispatchers that her husband, who was drunk and armed, had threatened to kill his entire family if police showed up.

It happened on around 4 a.m. Saturday on Kimball Avenue in Pennfield Township near Battle Creek. Responding Calhoun County sheriff’s deputies ultimately shot and killed 46-year-old Joel Kellay after they say he fired at them with a shotgun.

The 911 call from his wife shows the very real danger officers face when responding to violent scenes.

Kellay’s wife told dispatchers that her husband had come home drunk and angry, threatening to shoot her and her sons, ages 17 to 22. She was able to escape next door to her parents’ house.

“My husband has a gun in our house and my kids are in it. I just got out. He shot the gun outside the house at me,” Kellay’s wife said.

“He shot the gun at you? What’s your husband’s name?” the dispatcher asked.

“Joel Kellay,” the wife responded, becoming increasingly panicked as the call went on. “Please hurry. My kids are in the house.”

“Did he say anything about hurting the kids?” the dispatcher asked later.

“Yes, he told them that we’re all- That he’s ending this tonight, that we’re all going to die,” the wife responded. “And if they did anything or if anyone called the cops, if the cops show up, he’s going to kill everybody.”

“So he said if the cops show up he’s going to kill the kids?” the dispatcher clarified.

“Yes. All of us,” the wife said.

Her sons followed her to her parents’ house, but Kellay shot two of them with a pistol before they could get away. An 18-year-old was shot in the arm and a 22-year-old in the stomach. Both are expected to be OK.

No officers were injured.

Michigan State Police are investigating, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

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