Officer shot, suspect killed in exchange of gunfire at Mich. store

Police say the man entered the store with the intent to draw officers to the scene and then ambush them upon entry

Emily Monacelli
Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A man is dead and a public safety officer is recovering after police and the suspect engaged in a shootout at a Kalamazoo business.

The 30-year-old man, an employee at Grifols Biomat plasma donation center, was killed Tuesday, March 12, after being struck by multiple bullets fired by police responding to the business, police said. Officers responded to the center in the 100 block of East Kalamazoo Avenue at 11:29 a.m. Tuesday.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon the first two arriving officers immediately entered the building having information on an active shooting. There, the man was standing just inside and was armed with a handgun.

The suspect fired a shot inside the building and told others who were there to call police, Thomas said. Then, he waited for them to arrive.

“It appears that he entered the business with the intent to draw officers to the scene and then ambush them upon entry,” Thomas said.

The suspect opened fire on officers, hitting a 2.5-year KDPS officer multiple times in the torso. That officer’s partner, who has served on the force for nine months, “continued to engage” with the suspect, striking him multiple times, until other KDPS officers arrived, Thomas said.

The suspect was killed. Both officers, who Thomas declined to identify Tuesday, are at home recuperating but are not on paid administrative leave, Thomas said. The officer who was injured has since been released from the hospital.

“He was saved today by his bulletproof vest and the quick reaction of his fellow officer,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the investigation is ongoing and will be handled by the Michigan State Police, KDPS detectives and the department’s Office of Professional Standards. The case will be forwarded to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for review.


©2019 Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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