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Kalamazoo Co. prosecutor: Sergeant justified in 2021 deadly gas station shooting

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Posted at 9:36 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 09:47:01-05

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County prosecutor says a sergeant was justified when he shot and killed a suspect at a gas station back in October 2021.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting released the ruling on the officer-involved shooting Tuesday morning.

The shooting happened outside the Shell gas station on Miller Drive off 35th Street in Comstock Township shortly before 3 a.m. on October 4, 2021.

RELATED: Kalamazoo County deputy involved in shooting near gas station

Getting says Kalamazoo County dispatch received a call from RV Johnson II asking for someone to go to the Shell gas station. When dispatch asked what was going on at the gas station, Getting says Johnson responded by saying “thanks” and hung up.

Getting says Sgt. Ronald Garrett with the sheriff’s office responded to the call.

When Sgt. Garrett arrived, Getting says Johnson took a knife from his pocket walked outside to the parking lot and confronted Garrett.

Bodycam footage released by the sheriff’s office shows the confrontation.

“County, send me another unit out here right now,” the sergeant said into his radio while raising a gun. “Don’t do it, dude. Don’t do it. (I need people now). I’ll shoot you, dude.”

MORE: Galesburg man calls 911 before being shot by sergeant

The body camera video shows Johnson jerk toward the sergeant and Garrett stepping backward while repeatedly telling him to put the object down.

After nearly a minute the sergeant shot Johnson.

Johnson died at the scene.

Getting says Johnson had no criminal history, but his mother reported Johnson had been in a “state of deep depression” since his grandmother’s death. October 3, 2021, was the one-year anniversary of her death, according to Getting.

After reviewing all of the evidence, Prosecutor Getting ruled Sgt. Garrett was justified in his use of deadly force to stop the threat posed by Johnson.

Garrett has worked for the sheriff’s office since 2002 and has received 16 commendations during his career.