LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jerry Jarzynka announced today he will not be pursing charges against a sheriff’s deputy who shot a person in the buttocks.
Jarzynka said after reviewing evidence and looking at an independent investigation done by Detective Sergeant Brian Buege of the Michigan State Police, he has decided not to pursue charges against Deputy Bradley Reed.
On Oct. 15 around 5:00 p.m., Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a business on the 2500 block Spring Arbor Rd. in Summit Township for a mental health check in.
Jackson County Dispatch had told the deputies that Aaron Scheppelman had contacted his father Alan, and told him he had a 12-gauge shotgun and would get into a shootout with police.
Reed was one of the deputies called to the scene, and was set up behind the building where there were some bushes and trees between him and the building, according to officials.
At one point, the deputies heard what they believed were gunshots inside and outside the building, Jarzynka said. Reed then said he saw movement outside the building, and ordered the person to show his hands. Reed then fired his weapon twice and hit Aaron in the butt, Jarzynka said.
Medical help was then called to treat Aaron, but no weapon was found on him. However, a 12-gauge shotgun was found at the scene in a parked car, as well as shotgun shells.
In the body cam footage of Deputy Joseph Edwards, Jarzynka said you could hear Deputy Reed saying Aaron was “running at me in the woods.”
Jaryzynka also noted that Aaron had been petitioned to be involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness because he was a danger to others and himself. The deputies had a court order to pick up Aaron and take him to the hospital for treatment.
Jarzynka concluded that this was a dangerous and tense situation, especially since the deputies believed Aaron had a 12-gauge shotgun.
Because of the circumstances perceived by Deputy Reed, Jarzynka said he was justified in firing his weapon at the time of the shooting. Jarzynka said the facts show he had an honest and reasonable belief that Aaron had just fired his weapon and was running at him.
“The use of deadly force by Deputy Reed does not rise to the level necessary to render criminal charges against the police officer,” Jarzynka said.
Reed was facing the possibility of discipline, but retired from the department so the internal investigation into Reed’s conduct is closed.