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Gowen man shot and killed after homeowner found him naked, asleep on couch

Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 07, 2014

GREENVILLE, Mich. – John Russell III, 28, of Gowen was shot and killed after he fell asleep, naked, on a stranger’s couch Saturday morning, police said.

Greenville Public Safety Director Mark Reiss said autopsy results showed Russell died of a gunshot wound to the torso, as investigators await toxicology results.

As FOX 17 has reported, a single shot was fired around 7 A.M. Saturday on the 100 block of South Barry Street. Police received a call about a man wandering the streets trying to get into homes and garages.

According to officers, Russell got into a home by an unlocked sliding door, then fell asleep naked on the couch after a night of heavy drinking. Reiss told FOX 17 the homeowner came downstairs, saw the man, and then grabbed his shotgun from inside his home.

Reiss said the homeowner was unaware that officers were nearby searching for Russell on foot, when he woke Russell up and shot him during a struggle.

“According to the homeowner, the man became belligerent and combative,” said Reiss. “Then a short struggle ensued for the gun.”

Russell died on scene, and officers found him within minutes of being shot, said Reiss.

There are no charges at this time as the prosecutor’s office reviews the case and witness testimony.