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1 injured after officer-involved shooting during traffic stop in Battle Creek

Officer-involved shooting in Battle Creek
Posted at 4:26 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-14 20:14:58-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Two Battle Creek police officers are on paid administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting early Tuesday, according to the Battle Creek police department.

"It’s not unusual when the interaction goes peacefully if you can believe it or not where officers are often retrieving illegal weapons from folks who shouldn’t have them at least 80 times a year. You just never know when something is going to go awry," said Battle Creek Police Department's Police Chief Jim Blocker.

It happened just after midnight when officers stopped a driver for numerous traffic violations at Columbia Avenue and LaVista Boulevard.

Police say the driver was driving erratically, stopping and backing up in the middle of the road and an illegal turn.

As one of the officer's was talking to the driver outside the car, a second officer arrived and spoke to the passenger and noticed a gun in their waistband.

Police say the second officer told the passenger to put their hands up so they could safely remove the gun for everyone's safety.

"As the second officer reached in the vehicle for the gun that was in the waistband, the passenger began to suddenly resist, lean forward, extended his arm and reach for what was later determined to be a second gun on the floorboard of the vehicle," said Chief Blocker.

Police say that second officer ended up shooting the passenger, hitting his arm and shoulder. The passenger was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

During the stop, there were only two in-car mounted video cameras on scene, which are under review. The department is looking to get body-worn cameras. It's a plan they were already planning to discuss at city commission on Tuesday night.

"We would’ve had a lot more information, a lot more detail and a lot more clarity almost instantaneously. That alone would’ve helped us out," said Chief Blocker.

The two officers and the driver were not hurt. The driver was arrested at the scene for a felony, carrying a concealed weapon. The passenger is also being charged with a felony, carrying a concealed weapon, and resisting and obstructing arrest.

Michigan State Police is now investigating and the officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard protocol.

The 18-year-old who was shot is expected to survive.

None of their names have been released at this time.

As far as the plan for body cameras, the city commission is expected to vote at Tuesday night's meeting.

The department held a news conference on the shooting Tuesday afternoon.