NewsShooting death of Patrick Lyoya

Actions

MSP report breakdown of deadly officer-involved shooting of Patrick Lyoya

Lyoya, Schurr MSP report
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 29, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After months of waiting, FOX 17 has obtained a copy of the independent Michigan State Police probe into the deadly officer-involved shooting of Patrick Lyoya.

The same week as the deadly incident on April 4, 2022, FOX 17 filed a Freedom of Information Act for the report and received it Wednesday.

The report contains all the evidence linked to the case and is the same report Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker used as the basis to issue second-degree murder charges against former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr.

Here are five key take-aways from the MSP report:

1. The license plate reader (LPR) in Schurr’s cruiser was not what flagged Lyoya’s car:

Patrick Lyoya was pulled over the morning of April 4, 2022, for what Schurr told him were mismatched plates on the Nissan sedan he was operating. When video of the incident begins, Schurr has already initiated a traffic stop and Lyoya is seen pulled over on the side of the road in his car.

Although the report says Schurr’s police cruiser was in fact equipped with an automatic license plate reader, that’s not what the now-fired officer used to identify Lyoya’s plates as mismatched. An investigating MSP official looked at Schurr’s automatic license plate reads on the day of Lyoya’s killing and found no entries. Furthermore, that investigator was told that Schurr wasn’t even trained on the department’s LPR system and didn’t have a user profile for it.

MSP Report

Later in the report, it states that Schurr instead manually entered Lyoya’s license plate into a database that includes crime information and Secretary of State data to recognize it did not belong on the Nissan.

MSP Report

The reason Schurr chose to run Lyoya’s plate is not spelled out in the report.

2. Witnesses described the events back to investigators exactly how they played out on video:

In subsequent interviews with homeowners in the Grand Rapids neighborhood where the struggle took place, witnesses recount the details of the incident almost identically to what multiple angles of video show.

One witness “recalled hearing the officer tell the subject he was under arrest,” which Schurr can be heard saying multiple times in video of the struggle.

The same witness, who stated the struggle was “a slow escalation,” described the officer’s Taser having no effect when fired, a tussle on the ground, and that the officer “did not appear to be beating the subject.”

He later stated, “the officer’s not wrong” but also said “it did not have to be this way.”

MSP Report

Other witnesses also corroborated hearing Schurr’s verbal commands to Lyoya to stop resisting, or to drop his Taser.

MSP Report

Many neighbors in the proximity of the incident were not home, asleep or told officers they didn’t hear or see anything.

3. Schurr was asked twice to give his account and his statement is entirely redacted in the report:

The week after Lyoya was killed, MSP investigators approached the Grand Rapids Police Department’s Union about Schurr providing a statement of what happened on April 4. The agency heard back from Schurr’s attorneys about submitting a statement at a later date.

MSP Repo

On April 12, investigators met with Schurr’s attorneys who requested access to the video evidence MSP had obtained in the case. After viewing the videos, the group again discussed the possibility of Schurr providing a written statement.

MSP Report

The next day, Schurr submitted a written statement of his account. In the Michigan State Police report, all three pages of Schurr’s statement are redacted entirely, except for his signature at the bottom of each page.

Schurr’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request from FOX 17 for that statement in full.

4. Schurr’s body-worn camera was shut off “due to button press:”

In the early stages of the investigation, Grand Rapids police had said that Schurr’s Axon body-worn camera was switched to the ‘off’ position sometime during his struggle with Lyoya.

In the recording it does capture, Schurr can be seen tussling with Lyoya and pressing up against him on several occasions.

Sometime during the struggle, the bodycam is bumped, goes black, and records nothing else including the fatal shot.

The MSP report states: “The recording ended at 08:14:37 due to button press. The video was timestamped and began at 08:11:04.”

It records for three-minutes and 32-seconds from the time it was activated by Schurr initiating the stop to the time it is bumped off.

GRPD officials had previously said a bodycam on/off button needs to be held consistently for three-seconds in order for it to be turned off.

Data filed by Axon for the report shows Schurr’s bodycam was functioning properly at the time of the incident.

MSP Report

It’s notable that Becker had been waiting on the bodycam data – the last piece of the report to be finalized – before making any decisions on charges.

5. Schurr was involved in a similar incident a year prior to killing Lyoya:

On August 18, 2021, Schurr was patrolling on the southeast side of Grand Rapids when he noticed a GMC Yukon driving without a license plate and speeding. As Schurr began to tail the car, the driver pulled over and ran.

According to the incident report, included in the independent MSP report, Schurr identified himself as a police officer, chased the suspect, tackled them and the two began to struggle.

Schurr stated that at one point, the suspect reached for his waistband. Schurr stated in his report that he was “not able to gain control” of the suspect, so he deployed a Taser and hit the suspect in the middle of their back “from approximately a foot away.”

During that struggle, Schurr’s bodycam detached from his uniform and fell into a nearby storm drain. It did not record the entire struggle.

MSP Report

“They're either attached by a very strong magnet to a metal plate inside a shirt or a vest carrier or there's actually a, like, a large hook that that goes in and they are fairly secure if you run,” said GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom in April, addressing the Lyoya incident. “That technology is such that it’s a record, not only every time it turns on and off, but every time a button is tapped. So, to turn a body camera off once it’s activated, an officer has to hold the button steady for three seconds.”

To view Michigan State Police's full report, click here.

Click here for more coverage on the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.

Follow FOX 17: Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube