BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who was shot and injured by two Battle Creek police officers on Christmas after allegedly pulling a fake gun remained in serious condition Wednesday.
During a news conference, the Battle Creek Police Department provided an update on the suspect’s conditions and released video and photos from Sunday’s shooting.
“We are really proud of our officers. I think this once again exemplifies the work and challenges officers not just in our community but across the country are facing,” BCPD Chief Jim Blocker said. “It is through their quick action, professionalism and frankly, the quality of training this team is constantly put in front of, I think, has well prepared them for this event. So, really at the end of the day, our folks walked home and everyone else did.”
The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday at a home on Birdsall Drive near the intersection of Bedford Road and O Drive N. in Bedford Township. Police had already been called there about eight hours earlier on a report of a domestic assault, but he was gone by the time they arrived. They said when the man returned to the house Sunday night, a woman told 911 that he had a knife and was making suicidal threats. Officers heard shouting from the backyard when they arrived. As the officers approached, police said, the man pulled a “fake revolver replica” from his waistband.
“A witness on scene who was in very close proximity observed the male subject lift the (fake gun) and point it at the officers,” Deputy Chief Shannon Bagley said.
In an about four-second clip of body camera video played at the news conference, one officer can be heard telling him, “Drop it, now.” Two officers then opened fire, shooting a total of five rounds. The man was hit twice in the torso.
“There was a lot going on to be taking in,” Bagley said. “It was mere seconds that took place between the time the officers arrived and by the time they had to do what they had to do.”
The suspect, a 22-year-old whose name has not been released, remained in the hospital in serious condition as of Wednesday morning.
Police said he also had two knives on him when the shooting happened.
“Unfortunately, the gentleman made a decision — not only did he have and point that fake revolver, actually, you saw the knife that he had in his hand…” Bagley said. “It is a tragic situation, it is unfortunate, we wish it would not have occurred. However, the officers did an excellent job based on their training and experience that brought this to as successful of a conclusion as we could’ve possibly had based on the situation in its totality.”
No officers and no bystanders were injured. The two officers who shot the suspect were placed on administrative leave and Michigan State Police was called in to investigate, all of which is standard protocol whenever an officer uses deadly force.
—News 8’s David Horak contributed to this report.