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MSP identify man killed in trooper-involved shooting in Laketon Twp

Posted at 6:46 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 19:04:12-04

LAKETON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Michigan State Police continue to investigate Monday’s trooper-involved shooting on Sugaridge Drive.

“Heard the sirens and looked up and saw a state trooper go flying by the house,” said neighbor Nic Carothers. “Must’ve been 5–10 minutes later we heard a gunshot. Around here we really don’t pay much attention to gunshots. You know, we all shoot around here. Didn’t really think much about it until we started seeing more cops and cops and ambulances.”

MSP said via social media that on Monday around 2:40 p.m. a man identified as 37-year-old Joseph Miller broke into a residence on Sugaridge Drive. A woman was inside. She locked herself in the bedroom and dialed 911.

Upon arrival, police encountered Miller as he was leaving, they said. Miller drew a gun. Troopers did too. Both Miller and the troopers fired. Miller was hit and pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbor Ryan Klootwyck said he left home around 1 p.m. By the time he returned by 3 p.m. the street was filled with law enforcement.

“By the time I got to the entrance, which was a quarter mile away, the sheriff was there to stop me,” Klootwyck said to FOX 17 during an interview. “I had to wait to be OK’d to come back here. When I pulled in, this place was loaded with police, detectives, a forensic van. I pulled in and two detectives were waiting for me at the driveway here.”

Klootwyk told police that he was not surprised by what happened. He said a gun business is run out of that home called Wild Spirit Outdoors.

Before interviewing Klootwyk, FOX 17 went to the home and was met by a man who said, “No comment.” Hours later, when FOX 17 called the number on WSO's website, a man picked up and said, "Didn't we speak earlier?" He said “no comment” again.

“Truck traffic [and] delivering has been immense,” Klootwyk said about the home. “The strangers coming to the cul-de-sac has been problematic. My dog goes crazy about the delivery trucks, the strangers.

MSP did not state what led Miller to the home, and it’s not clear that the business was a factor in Monday’s incident.

However, Carothers said the shooting motivated him and his family to come up with an emergency plan should someone break into their home.

“It was scary, you know,” Carothers said. “It was really an eye opener, makes you realize [to] lock stuff up better. It’s kind of eerie kind of feeling, you know.”

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