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Kentwood officer justified in death of suicidal man

Posted at 10:54 AM, Nov 19, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Kent County Prosecutor has determined that a Kentwood Police officer was justified in using deadly force in the shooting of an apparently suicidal man.

Kentwood Officer Jonathon Carter shot Timothy Arnold in the apartment building on Hidden Valley Drive on October 21st.  Officers had been called to the apartment on reports of a possibly suicidal man who owned a handgun.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that Arnold had met with his wife Rochelle earlier in the evening to discuss their pending divorce. She told investigators the meeting went smoothly, but later in the evening she received a text from him telling her “you can find my body” at the apartment and “good luck with your life.”  She called police and they were dispatched to the apartment.

In investigation documents, the officers attempted to reach Arnold, but he didn’t respond initially. When Arnold did come of the apartment, he was armed with the handgun and pointed it Officer Carter. Carter yelled “police” and Carter reports hearing a click or a pop coming from Arnold’s gun. Carter fired three rounds, hitting Arnold.  Officer Smigiel, who was outside, found the gun that Arnold had used and found that it was jammed with a bullet in the chamber.

Investigators say they can’t determine whether or not Arnold was trying to commit “suicide by cop”, but that Officer Carter was justified in his actions.