BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) — No charges will be filed in the Jan. 2 officer-involved shooting in Bath Township near Lansing.
On Jan. 2, the Bath Township Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Dutch Hills trailer park.
During the interaction, 24-year-old Lucas Gainforth came out of his home and started yelling at Bath Township Police Sgt. Christopher Hamilton and his neighbor before going back inside.
Gainforth then came out of the home holding what appeared to be two handguns, later revealed to be replicas. When Gainforth did not drop the apparent weapons, Sgt. Hamilton fired 10 shots at him, killing him.
Michigan State Police turned over its investigation to the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, determining that the shooting was a reasonable use of force.
“The officer involved shooting of Mr. Gainforth that resulted in his death was a tragedy for Mr. Gainforth and his family, Sgt. Hamilton, and the community as a whole. After reviewing the evidence, the shooting at issue was a reasonable use of force given the circumstances at hand at the time of the shooting,” Clinton County Prosecutor Tony Spagnuolo wrote in a press release.
The prosecutor said the officer was reasonable to think his and Gainforth’s mother’s lives were in danger.
“When Mr. Gainforth left the house with two pistols and proceeded to point them in the direction of both Sgt. Hamilton and his own mother, a reasonable officer in the position of Sgt. Hamilton would have felt that both his life, and the life of Mr. Gainforth’s mother were in danger,” Spagnuolo wrote. “Even though the guns at issue ended up being airsoft guns, because of the lengths that Mr. Gainforth had taken to modify them in a way that took the identifiable features of such guns away, a reasonable officer in the position of Sgt. Hamilton would not have been able to tell that the pistols were not ‘real guns.'”
Bath Township Police Chief Gary Smith announced that the department found no wrongdoing in its own internal investigation.
“This was a tragedy for all involved. Our hearts go out to Sgt. Hamilton and his family, as well as the family of the deceased, 24-year-old Lucas Charles Gainforth,” Smith said.
You can watch the interaction between police and Gainforth here. Viewer discretion is advised.
— News 8 contributed to this report.