Documents describe ‘volatile’ eviction situation leading to deadly police-involved shooting

Posted at 12:26 PM, May 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-15 12:26:41-04

PORTAGE, Mich. -- Michigan State Police have identified the two Portage men who were shot by law enforcement officials after a Thursday chase in Kalamazoo County.

Sean Michael Pelletier, 37, was killed in the shooting after police say he exited the vehicle carrying a high-powered rifle.   His brother, 29-year-old Aaron Joseph Pelletier, was critically injured.

The police chase started in eastern Kalamazoo County when Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Deputies attempted to stop the red Acura the brothers were riding in.  Aaron Pelletier, the driver, was wanted on an outstanding warrant for trespassing, officials said.

The chase ended after a crash at Anna's Vineyard Apartment Complex, 6095 Anna's Ln., in Portage.  That's when police say Sean Pelletier exited the passenger side of the Acura carrying a rifle.

Police tell FOX 17 police car dash camera video clearly shows Sean Pelletier exit the vehicle with a "high-powered" military-type assault rifle in hand. FOX 17 has not been able to view the video to verify but a Freedom of Information request of the video has been submitted to the Michigan State Police.

No other injuries were reported.

Court documents from Kalamazoo County reveal why police were trying to pull the car over Thursday, and it stems from an eviction case that's been ongoing since November of last year.

Neighbors told FOX 17 the mother of the two men had been trying to evict them from a home located in the 4000 block of Raborn Court in Portage, just minutes from where the deadly chase ended Thursday afternoon.

There was a heavy police presence outside the home late Thursday, according to neighbors. FOX 17 found police crime tape that had been left behind near the home on Friday.

According to court documents, Sean Pelletier and two other relatives had an order for eviction filed against them in November 2014. In early December, the county was unable to complete the eviction after the court officer was threatened, according to the documents.

"The defendants have multiple guns in the house," the court documents read, and police who were on scene called the situation "volatile."

On May 11, just four days before the police chase, all three defendants including Sean failed to appear in court. Warrants were issued on Wednesday.

Police told FOX 17 they did not want to make the arrests at the home, given the previous encounter with police and the court officer.

“These suspects were known to them to be possibly violent and armed, and so that’s why officers were taking special precautions to bring this individual under arrest,” Lt. Dale Hinz with Michigan State Police told reporters Thursday evening.

Six officers from various agencies involving in the shootings has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. This is standard procedure in officer-involved shooting investigations.