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MSP Paw Paw Post trooper recognized for work during 2019 home invasion

Tpr. Mark Fletcher_dept photo.jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 12:03:32-04

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post trooper is being recognized for his actions during a home invasion back in 2019 in which he and two other officers were shot.

Tpr. Mark Fletcher was named the 2020 International Association of Chiefs of Police/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year, according to a news release Thursday.

“We are proud to honor Trooper Fletcher as the 2020 Trooper of the Year for his courageous actions and selfless commitment to his fellow officers,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Trooper Fletcher has served the people of Michigan honorably and embodies the qualities of a true public servant.”

The home invasion happened Dec. 1, 2019 in Comstock Township. Police say the intruder, William Jones, held Christopher Neal at gunpoint before shooting and killing him.

Body Camera Released in Hostage Situation

When they arrived at the scene, Fletcher and his fellow troopers determined the home was occupied by a Neal, his wife, and their young daughter.

While the wife and daughter were able to escape to an upstairs room, Christopher was taken hostage by the armed intruder in a downstairs bedroom.

Troopers heard a gunshot from inside the home while they were outside planning what to do, leading them to immediately enter the home to try to rescue the family.

Once inside the troopers safely rescued the woman and child.

As law enforcement tried to negotiate with the intruder, he continued firing shots through the floor and walls into adjacent rooms, eventually hitting three of the officers, including Trooper Fletcher.

Fletcher immediately went to the aid of one of his injured colleagues before realizing he had also been shot below the knee. He then used a tourniquet on his own leg and continued administering first aid to one of the injured troopers as he and two others were taken to the hospital.

The suspect, William Jones, broke a window and left the home but was apprehended and taken into custody by law enforcement waiting outside.

Troopers found Christopher dead in the living room.

The injured troopers recovered from their injuries and Fletcher returned to work a few weeks later.

“Trooper Fletcher’s bravery while under fire and his concern for others over himself is admirable and in keeping with the highest standards of our profession,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of Michigan State Police. “His selfless and courageous actions are what we hope to instill in our troopers when they find themselves in such harrowing circumstances.”

Fletcher joined MSP in June 2017, graduating as a member of the 133rd Trooper Recruit School.