Newaygo Co. prosecutor: MSP troopers justified in May shooting

Newaygo County

The scene on 10 Mile Road in Beaver Township where Michigan State Police troopers shot and killed someone. (May 22, 2021)

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) — Troopers were justified when they shot and killed a man near Hesperia, the Newaygo County prosecuting attorney says.

Prosecuting Attorney Ellsworth Stay said Michigan State Police troopers were justified when they shot and killed Johnny King on May 22.

MSP troopers were investigating reports of domestic assault and had spoken with a woman who said she had been assaulted by King, Stay said.

Troopers went to the trailer where he lived and asked him to come outside to talk and he refused. Stay said two troopers went inside the trailer with permission while a third waited outside.

King then armed himself with what looked like a rifle — which turned out to be a .177 caliber air rifle — and pointed it at the troopers, at which point he was shot.

“In a short timeframe, the individual became confrontational and then reached for, and pointed at them, a weapon.” Stay said in his decision. “In that moment, the troopers were faced with a split-second judgment. A reasonable officer would believe that their life or the life of others was in danger when faced with that situation. Both officers’ use of deadly force in response of the perceived threat was reasonable.”

Stay say the troopers were justified and no criminal charges will be issued.

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