Trial underway for man who led police on chase; shootout that killed brother

Posted at 12:40 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 19:52:11-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The jury in the Aaron Pelletier trial listened to hours and hours of testimonies from officers who partook in the high-speed car chase and subsequent shootout last May that left his brother Sean dead. Seven law enforcement officials, ranging from Michigan State Police to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, testified about what they saw on May 14, 2015.

Trooper Michael Daniels, who was the first patrol unit behind the Pelletiers, said he tried to pull them over multiple times. He saw them blow past stop signs and speed through red lights. He tried to bump their vehicle to slow the car down but couldn't get close enough. Sgt. Ward Lawrence with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office was nearby and aided Daniels in trying to end the car chase.

"I was in the left lane of Sprinkle Road," said Daniels. "It's a four lane road. I was in the left lane. Sgt Lawrence would’ve been in the right lane. And at that time, as we started moving, I could see the barrel of the rifle pointed out of the passenger window towards Sgt. Lawrence who was directly next to the Acura"

Sgt. Lawrence said he immediately recognized that the weapon was an AK47. As a firearm instructor, he knew how powerful it was.

"It’ll go through my car side-to-side," said Lawrence. "The only thing that may stop it may be the engine block possibly. It’ll go through intermediate barriers like our cars doors. It’ll go through my soft body armor."

It was another 20 miles before the Pelletiers were stopped. It ended in a shootout at a housing complex that killed Sean. Officers located another gun and magazines in the car once the shootout was over. The officers involved in the shooting were cleared earlier of any wrongdoing.

Gun shown during testimony

Gun shown during testimony

Aaron Pelletier is facing three felony counts including fleeing and eluding, along with gun charges. Trial resumes Thursday at 9am.