GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County prosecutor provided updates on two shooting investigations from March at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The prosecutor, Chris Becker, ruled the two separate instances are both justified.
The first shooting happened on March 18 when police say a Kent County deputy undergoing field training fired two rounds from a handgun toward an unoccupied vehicle during a crash investigation.
Becker says no bullets hit anyone or anything, but the officer did fire his gun in the direction of a civilian. FOX 17 was given the following statement from the Kent County Sheriff's office in response:
Now that the Wyoming Department of Public Safety and the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office have finalized their work, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office will complete an internal investigation to evaluate if there are any training or policy implications. Deputy Roemer was hired in January of 2022 and was working in the context of a field training environment as a new patrol deputy. This is a difficult circumstance for any deputy and we are ensuring Deputy Roemer has support from the Employee Assistance Program and coworkers.
Police say two deputies were called to the scene of a crash: one of the deputies was in field training and the other deputy was a field training officer.
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When the deputies arrived at the scene, they found a car had hit a power pole and the pole was leaning over the road with live wires attached to it. The department says it is believed the driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit the pole. The driver was not injured.
Deputies started collecting information for the crash investigation and report. According to police, that’s when the deputy being trained fired two shots toward the crashed vehicle.
Police say no one was in the vehicle at the time and no one was injured.
Police say the deputy responsible for firing the gun has been working for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office since January 2022. Prior to joining the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy had eight years of law enforcement experience at a different agency.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Becker said he will not be filing charges against the deputy.
The prosecutor explained why this decision is different from when he recently charged a Grand Rapids Police Officer in January.
“Two different things. The Grand Rapids officer was a careless discharge. That’s losing control of your weapon. The intentional discharge is different. You have to take in the totality of the facts and circumstances. Because there’s the justification that he thought someone was attacking him, that’s why the law says it’s justified in firing his shots,” Becker said.
The second shooting Prosecutor Chris Becker will provide an update on happened on 108th Street SW in Byron Township on March 30.
Deputies say a 39-year-old suspect was attempting to break into a house when the homeowner shot and killed him.
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Investigators say Christopher Worth, the man accused of trying to break in, has a lengthy criminal record including more than one arrest for armed robbery. Investigators say Worth had just fled the scene of an accident in Allegan County. He then crossed over into Kent County in what the sheriff’s office says could be a stolen car, before he crashed and needed a new ride.
“He goes to the homeowners’ home; they hear a commotion at the car. They state that they see a gun on the suspect and there’s damage to the car,” the sheriff explained.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Becker said he will not be filing charges against the homeowner.