MONROE, MI – Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Michael G. Roehrig announced his decision regarding the ‘officer involved shooting’ that took place in Monroe Township on Monday June 15th, 2020.
In short, in discharging his weapon and shooting the knife-wielding suspect, Michigan State Police Trooper, Kyle Michael’s actions constitute a justified, appropriate, and proportional use of force.
A brief summary of the facts is in order. The facts are drawn from various sources including numerous civilian witness accounts, Trooper Michael’s statement, high-definition surveillance videos from businesses immediately adjacent to the area where the incident occurred, the ‘dash cam’ video from the State Police patrol vehicle, and recordings of multiple 911 calls for assistance. Additional facts are drawn from Michigan State Police Report number SIS 128-20, authored by various investigators from the Michigan State Police Second District Investigative Response Team. The officer-in-charge of the investigation is D/Sgt. Timothy Madison. Trooper Michael’s arrival on scene and the encounter that followed were captured by video recording devices, and the electronic records and the physical evidence confirm the statements of the witnesses.
At approximately 4:20 p.m., on June 15, 2020, while fueling his vehicle, Trooper Michael was advised by a motorist that “there was a white male running in the street near S. Dixie Highway and Dunbar Road, yelling at cars to ‘hit him and kill him.’” In fact, numerous 911 callers reported that the suspect had been acting in an agitated and aggressive manner for some time. Carrying what witnesses described as “a machete-sized knife,” he was walking in traffic and had chased a young woman (who was rescued by a passing motorist). One witness noted that the suspect “was belligerent and acted like he had no fear as he was walking into oncoming traffic with a machete.” Being a short distance away, Trooper Michael proceeded with haste to the area of S. Dixie Highway and Dunbar Road.
Upon Trooper Michael’s arrival to the area, he located the suspect, an 18-year old Caucasian male, who was pacing along the west side of the roadway with a 17-inch fixed-blade knife. Some witnesses have described the knife as a machete. Either way, with a 12-inch blade, a sharpened double-sided tip and double-sided serrations, the knife is very obviously a deadly weapon.
Trooper Michael brought his fully marked patrol vehicle to a stop on an angle across the curb-lane of southbound Dixie Highway and immediately exited his vehicle. As Trooper Michael was exiting, the irate suspect slammed his drink into the ground (on the passenger side of the patrol vehicle), quickly unsheathed his large, fixed-blade knife, placing it in his right hand, and briskly walked around the front of Trooper Michael’s vehicle toward the driver’s side door.
As the suspect came around the front of the patrol vehicle, Trooper Michael, who was still standing in his open driver’s side door, drew his firearm and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect refused to obey the lawful command issued by Trooper Michael and continued around the front of the patrol vehicle toward Trooper Michael. Trooper Michael then began to retreat. Ignoring the danger posed by heavy oncoming traffic, Trooper Michael back pedaled in the southbound lanes of travel while continuing to order the suspect to drop his weapon.
The suspect repeatedly refused to comply with Trooper Michael’s orders. Instead, the suspect, with the knife in his hand, charged relentlessly toward Trooper Michael, angrily yelling “kill me, kill me.” (One witness described the suspect as “marching and then charging toward the Trooper. The Trooper was walking backward with his handgun pointed at the subject as the subject picked up speed approaching the Trooper.”) Trooper Michael continued to retreat (while continuing to order the suspect to drop his weapon) and the suspect continued to aggressively move closer to Trooper Michael, tightening his grip on the knife.
Eventually, when the suspect was approximately 15-20 feet away, Trooper Michael discharged his department issued firearm twice, striking the subject, who fell to the ground. The suspect was struck in the right arm and the abdomen. Trooper Michael then radioed for assistance, moved the knife away from the suspect and went to his patrol vehicle to retrieve first aid supplies. Trooper Michael then administered first aid to the suspect, who continued to resist. One witnesses described that “the Trooper immediately checked on the suspect before getting his first aid kit to start rendering aid. The suspect kept pushing the Trooper away, but the Trooper went “above and beyond” in an attempt to render aid before the ambulance and further law enforcement officers arrived on scene.” Numerous law enforcement officers and medical personnel then descended on the scene. The suspect was later transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. The total elapsed time from Trooper Michael’s arrival until shots were fired is approximately 20 seconds.
The suspect did not have any form of identification on his person. Further investigation revealed the suspect’s identity, which is being withheld pending review of potential criminal charges against him.
After a thorough review, it is clear Trooper Michael’s use of potentially deadly force was fully warranted and appropriate in order to protect himself and the many civilians in the vicinity. One witness specifically noted that Trooper Michael “did everything he could to ‘diffuse the situation’ before firing his weapon.”
Beyond merely being a justified and proportional use of force, Trooper Michael’s actions were courageous – alone, in the middle of a busy street, he was all that stood between numerous civilians and a knife wielding man seemingly bent on inflicting harm. It is apparent his actions were professional, representative of the highest caliber of upstanding, dedicated law enforcement officers who selflessly serve and protect our communities, and reflective of the community’s highest expectations of law enforcement.
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