KALAMAZOO, Mich.– Surveillance video and 911 calls obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show hotel guests concerned over a commotion that led to a police officer fatally shooting a man at the Best Western on Cork Street on Jan. 24.
Grassley was suspected of assaulting his girlfriend with a wrapping paper roll, but had already fled when police arrived. According to his girlfriend, he returned later and took their three firearms. Police were housing Grassley’s girlfriend at the Best Western, where he showed up later that day.
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting claims that the shooting was justified, and that 15-year veteran Sgt. Sean Gordon had every reason to believe that the suspect, Jacob Grassley, was armed.
Following the shooting, it was revealed that the black item spotted in his hand was a cell phone. Police did discover a gun in his car, and two more were turned in by a man who said Grassley dropped them off to him the day he was killed.
“The decision that Sgt. Gordon had to make was to either allow an unstable person who had every reason to believe he was armed with multiple weapons to flee into a crowded hotel to seriously injure or kill [his girlfriend] or other hotel guests, or to use his firearm in defense of himself, the occupants of the hotel and other members of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety,” Getting read in his May 24 brief.
Sgt. Gordon returned back to work after Memorial Day weekend, according to Kalamazoo Police Chief Jeff Hadley.