PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — Two law enforcement officers were justified in shooting a man in Van Buren County on Feb. 8, the county prosecutor has ruled.
The decision from Prosecutor Susan Zuiderveen means a Paw Paw police officer and Van Buren County sheriff’s deputy will not face charges in connection to the shooting of Brad Allen Hirte. She said the law enforcement officers had good reason to believe they were in danger.
For that reason, News 8 is not using their names.
The incident started around 9:30 pm. on Feb. 8 after authorities were called for a report of a home invasion at a house on County Road 374 in Paw Paw Township. Hirte broke into the house, stole a kitchen knife and use it to harm himself then left the scene.
The two law enforcement officers were able to track Hirte with the help of a K-9 to a house on Orchard Lane. As they went up the driveway, Hirte ran towards them with a knife raised over his head. The deputy and officer both commanded him to drop the knife, but Hirte continued towards them, according to the prosecutor’s decision.
The Paw Paw officer fired one shot at Hirte, who fell to the ground before getting back up and heading towards them with the knife raised above his head. Both law enforcement officers again told him to drop the knife. As Hirte continued towards them, the deputy and officer each fired two shots at the suspect, according to the county prosecutor.
Hirte was hospitalized, treated and released.
In her decision, Zuiderveen said the deputy and officer both acted in self-defense.
“Both officers had an honest and reasonable belief that they were in immediate danger of serious injury or death,” Zuiderveen wrote in her decision. “The actions taken by both officers were immediately necessary to protect themselves and others from the danger posed by Mr. Hirte.”