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MSP: Two officers shot, suspect killed in Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting
Posted at 4:41 AM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 17:04:19-04

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Authorities say two Benton Harbor police officers were hurt and a suspect was killed in a shooting Thursday night.

On Friday, police shared body camera footage of the incident.

The suspect, 32-year-old Dustin Levell Saffell, was shot and killed by police after he fired 15 rounds in their direction, hitting both of their legs, injuring them.

Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety Director Daniel McGinnis Jr. said Saffell had run from law enforcement twice in the past week.

"Benton Harbor officers were attempting to arrest the subject. The incident resulted in a shootout between the suspect and the officers," said Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety Director Daniel McGinnis Jr.

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says the shooting happened in the 700 block of Highland around 11:18 p.m. Thursday.

Officers said Saffell was wanted on several felony warrants, including home invasion as well as resisting arrest, fleeing and alluding.

"There was also a what we call an “OSC” officer safety caution file which cautions officers that if you come into contact with him, he has prior drugs in his record, prior assault of police officer, resisting arrest, multiple weapons charges, assault with a dangerous weapon," said McGinnis.

Officers spotted Saffell’s vehicle at a house and attempted to make contact. Because he has an extensive criminal record, Benton Harbor officers sent a team to assist.

When officers approached the car to make contact, McGinnis says Saffell got out of the car and started shooting at one of the officers. The officer returned fire, hitting and killing him.

"We made contact with the subject. He engaged officers with a handgun with an extended magazine. Sergeant Gee who is a combat veteran marine was able to maintain his composure, return fire and try to get to cover. In doing so, hitting the suspect where he ultimately died from his wounds," said McGinnis.

According to McGinnis, Saffell fired 15 rounds at officers before being hit and killed.

Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety also shared videos from Saffell's social media showing the extended magazines used in the shooting.

"He has what is called an extended magazine. Normally a gun has a magazine, this one is the size of a small club. He is known to wear that balaclava. In the shooting, he gets out of the car with that balaclava on," said McGinnis.

Two of the officers were shot. One of the officers was shot in his leg and stomach. He underwent surgery and is now in stable condition. The other officer was shot three times, two of the bullets hit his belt and the third bullet hit his leg. Both officers are expected to survive.

"There was nothing, although they used caution, there was nothing that led them to believe that he was going to fire on them this time. I commend my guys for being so aware," said McGinnis.

Michigan State Police will now take over the investigation.

Mental health resources are being made available to anyone in public safety who has been impacted.

Benton Harbor police hold press conference after deadly officer-involved shooting