Home News Update: Gunman who ambushed & shot Michigan officer was former firefighter

Update: Gunman who ambushed & shot Michigan officer was former firefighter

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UPDATE:
The shooter has been identified as Brandon Stacey, a former firefighter and EMt.

Family members told WOOD-TV they were shocked and don’t’ know why Stacey would carry out this attack.

Stacey was also an employee at the Plasma Center for a little under a year.

Original:

Brad Devereaux
Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich.

A police officer shot in Kalamazoo Tuesday was the first officer shot since the fatal shooting of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer Eric Zapata in 2011, according to the chief.

A KDPS officer was shot Tuesday, March 12, after he and another officer responded to a business downtown Kalamazoo for a report of a shooting. In an exchange of gunfire, the officer was shot and the suspect was also fatally hit, KDPS said.

Police said the suspect, who has not been identified by police, is dead. The suspect is approximately 30, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas said.

The officer was shot multiple times and all of the bullets hit his bulletproof vest, saving him, she said. The officer, who has not been named by police, was released from the hospital Tuesday.

The incident marks the first time a police officer was shot in the city of Kalamazoo since 2011, when KDPS Officer Eric Zapata was shot and killed, Thomas said.

Zapata, 35 and a 10-year veteran of the force, was shot after he and other officers were dispatched on a report of shots fired on April 9, 2011, in the 1400 block of Hays Park Avenue in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood.

Another officer approached suspect Leonard Statler, who was standing on a porch. Statler pulled a gun and exchanged gun fire with another officer, police have said. He then fled from the porch and ran in between houses, where he encountered Zapata and shot the officer in the head and chest with a long rifle, police said at the time.

Zapata is the only Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer ever killed in the line of duty.

Tuesday’s incident was the first fatal shooting by police in the city of Kalamazoo in more than five years.

In the most recent case, police went to an apartment at 103 W. Dutton St. on Feb. 7, 2014, looking for Brad Mason, who was wanted for an abduction and sexual assault. The 42-year-old pointed an Airsoft pistol at officers and refused their commands to drop the weapon before two officers opened fire.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor later determined that the officers in that case were left with “no option” but to use deadly force.

In Tuesday’s shooting, the suspect was waiting by the door when officers arrived and ran inside the building, Thomas said.

“It appears he entered the business with the intent to draw officers in and then ambushed” them, she said.

“The officers did exactly as they were trained and should be commended for foll the training they were given foll all protocols and going into a situation that they knew there was an armed gunman,” Thomas said.

The Michigan State Police will investigate the incident and the report will be forwarded to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

“These are young young officers out there and willing to do this work,” she said. “We have difficulty finding officers. You all know that. We’ve been in the media saying that. This is an example and its also an example of the dedication the men and women have to this community.”

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©2019 Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich.

Visit Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich. at www.mlive.com/kalamazoo

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