KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — More than four months after a man shot and killed Kalamazoo County Sgt. Ryan Proxmire during a pursuit, 911 calls and radio transmissions released detail what dispatch and law enforcement experienced that day.
On the night of Aug. 14, 2021, within a 12-minute time frame, a total of five calls from concerned citizens were made to 911 regarding Sgt. Ryan Proxmire's stopped cruiser.
The callers asked dispatch for welfare checks saying the cruiser was stopped in the middle of the road with its sirens blaring.
RELATED: Deputy Ryan Proxmire dies after being shot on-duty
Here is part of the transcript from the first call:
Dispatch — “Kalamazoo dispatch.”
Caller — “Something, obviously something is going on where a lot of officers have been dispatched by my house. However, there is one vehicle that has its sirens on and is parked in between my house and my neighbor's house to the west of me. Just wanted to make sure that that officer was okay.”
The calls were made to the Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority.
Here's a timeline of the pursuit between the suspect and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office that began at 9:22 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2021:
"3466 here. We’ve got a male with a gun. We need officers out to the Shell. He pulled a gun. He pulled a gun," said Sgt. Ryan Proxmire through his radio to dispatch.
The sheriff's office tells FOX 17 Sergeant Proxmire took the lead in that pursuit but backed off around 9:26 p.m.
"I’m going to back off just a touch. Losing parts of his trailer and hitting my patrol vehicle," said Sergeant Proxmire through his radio.
Two minutes later, around 9:28 p.m., a radio transmission was sent by a Kalamazoo County deputy saying Proxmire's vehicle had been disabled.
"I’ve got 22, 12 and Proxy, whatever number he is, I believe 66. I believe 66 is out. We have two units — 312 and 122 — still eastbound MN," said a Kalamazoo County deputy through radio transmission.
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At 9:29 p.m. the first radio transmission of shots fired was sent to dispatch.
"He popped a round off. I heard a pop. Back off. Possible shots fired," said another Kalamazoo County deputy through his radio.
Seventeen minutes into the pursuit at 9:39 p.m., the first call came into dispatch from a neighbor asking for a welfare check on a stopped cruiser near his home.
Four other people also called within 12 minutes of the first asking for welfare checks.
Here is some of the transcript from the second call, which came in around 9:42 p.m to the dispatch center:
Caller — “There’s a police officer in the driver’s lane with his lights on, but he is stopped in the middle of the lane and I just want to make sure he is OK. I mean I’ve never seen…it’s in the middle of nowhere.”
Dispatch — “Nope. He is OK. He is blocking the roadway."
The third call came in around 9:47 p.m. Here is some of the transcript from that call:
Caller — “There is a police officer kind of stopped in the road with sirens on and lights but we don’t see anybody. We were worried if he was OK.”
Dispatch — “Yeah, no. He is blocking traffic.”
Here is some of the transcript from the fourth call, which came in around 9:49 p.m. to 911:
Caller — “There is an officer or Kalamazoo County cop on the side of the road with his sirens going, but there is no cop around or cars. I would like a welfare check on the officer.”
Dispatch — “Yep. They are fine. They are fine. I promise.”
Caller — “OK, I just wanted to make sure he was OK.”
The fifth caller called around 9:51 p.m. and told dispatch Sergeant Proxmire was slumped over in his seat and had been shot.
Caller — "I’m on MN Avenue, and I am at one of your officers' cars or sheriffs' cars…the sirens are going off. (inaudible) He’s been shot in the head."
About a minute and a half into the fifth caller's call at 9:52 p.m., a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officer arrived on scene around the same time dispatch was sending a status check to Sergeant Proxmire through his radio.
That status check happened a total of 13 minutes after the first call was received.
Dispatch — "Units, we have a report of a possible officer down. 38th and MN."
Officer — “I need a transport immediately.”
Dispatch — “We have help on the way.”
Involved agencies reviewed these recordings and radio transmissions over and over the last few months. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police and the Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority stress the fact their main concern at the time was the pursuit and the safety of neighbors.
"We were under a code 10, all officers. What that is, is if you are involved in a critical incident shooting, no radio traffic, unless it is an emergency," said Michigan State Police Post Commander F/Lt. Scott Ernstes.
"There was no indication that Sergeant Proxmire was under any distress; again, we believe that the vehicle was disabled during the pursuit; no shots had been fired at that point to our knowledge, and there was no indication that he was in need of immediate help," said Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority Executive Director Jeff Troyer.
Troyer added the second they were notified of an officer down, they responded.
"I believe that everybody that night did everything they could to save lives and to make sure that the event was... created by the felonious acts... created by an individual were stopped as best as they could have done and as safely as they could have been done," said Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller.
While conversations have been and still are taking place, no protocols have been changed following that night.
All agencies said they're always striving to do the best they can with the situations they're presented with.
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