PAW PAW, Mich. — The Van Buren County prosecutor’s office says a Paw Paw police officer and a sheriff’s office deputy were justified in their actions during a shooting this past February.
That means they will not face charges in connection to the shooting of Brad Allen Hirte.
Prosecutor Susan Zuiderveen says Officer Tim McMeekan with the Paw Paw Police Department and Deputy Dan Rowse of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office faced “tense, uncertain, rapidly evolving circumstances” during the incident.
Police say Hirte had broken into a home and stolen a kitchen knife, which reports say he used to cut his arms in the driveway of the home.
The homeowners called 911 and officers quickly headed out to the scene to try and make contact with him.
A K9 unit from the sheriff’s office tracked the man to about one-third of a mile away and police say Hirte, still wielding the kitchen knife, charged at the officers.
According to the prosecutor’s investigation, McMeekan and Rowse repeatedly told Hirte to drop the knife, but instead he continued to advance toward them.
McMeekan then fired a single round at Hirte, who momentarily fell to the ground before regaining his feet and continuing to advance on the officers.
Both officers then fired two additional shots each and Hirte fell to the ground.
EMS was on scene within minutes of the shooting and Hirte was transported to Bronson Methodist Hospital.
He was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital on March 10, according to the prosecutor’s decision.
“Both officers had an honest and reasonable belief that they were in immediate danger of serious injury or death,” Zuiderveen wrote. “The actions taken by both officers were immediately necessary to protect themselves and others from the danger posed by Mr. Hirte.”
Read the full decision here: