Convict Eric Knysz's Death May Save Lives - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Convict Eric Knysz's Death May Save Lives

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(WLNS) - The man who police say pulled the trigger in a shooting that killed Michigan State Police trooper Paul Butterfield is now declared brain dead.

Michigan Department of Corrections Spokesman Russ Marlan says Knysz attempted to commit suicide on Monday by hanging himself with a bed sheet. He survived, but was transported to Allegiance Hospital in Jackson where he was left in critical condition.

Eric Knysz's family confirmed to Six News that Knysz is essentially dead, however he is being kept alive on a breathing machine to preserve his organs, because Knysz himself is an organ donor.

"I know it doesn't come anywhere close to making up for the loss of trooper Butterfield but at least he's going to be able to potentially save other people," said Bonnie Knysz, Eric's sister.

Bonnie says the family takes solace in the fact that her brother's organs will be used to preserve other lives, though she and family members are still grieving Eric's loss.

"We weren't expecting it at all it was a huge shock," said Bonnie.

Knysz was convicted of shooting and killing Trooper Butterfield during a traffic stop in September of 2013, and sentenced to life in prison just one week ago.

Corrections officials transported Knysz from jail to Jackson State Prison Thursday, during which time Marlan says Knysz was never under suicide watch.

"Part of our intake and screening process is that they are reviewed by a mental health professional to see if there are any thoughts or suicidal tendencies," said Marlan, who added suicidal tendencies "didn't appear to be the case" for Knysz.

Though Knysz will likely always be linked to the death of Trooper Butterfield, his family hopes through organ donation, Knysz will leave at least a trace of a positive legacy.


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