Grand Rapids police release body cam video of officers shooting armed man

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Less than 24 hours after police shot an armed man suspected of breaking into vehicles, Grand Rapids police released body camera videos showing the incident.

Police said the videos show the man pointing a handgun at officers. Investigators recovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun from the scene.

The injured person, a 26-year-old white Grand Rapids man, was expected to survive and was recovering at Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital. He was last known to be in serious condition, but was described as “alert and conscious.”

Officers responded about 1:45 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 to the area of Forrester Street SE and Bonita Drive on a report of a person possibly breaking into cars.

The body cam videos show officers spotted the person as they were driving into the area.

An officer stops his vehicle and yells to the man “hey hold up” then “stop” several times. The man flees.

Two officers begin pursuing the man on foot. One of the officers yells “There’s something in his hand,” and then moments later yells “drop the gun” before shots ring out.

In a press conference Wednesday, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom highlighted portions of the body cam videos that show the man pointing a handgun.

Winstrom said he believed it was important to get the police videos out as soon as possible. He referenced the April 4 police shooting of Patrick Lyoya, which gained national attention.

“There is a demand from the public, if they know there’s video out there, they want to see the video. In the spirit of transparency, I think it’s important to build that trust.

“If we have the ability to show it and it’s not going to negatively impact a criminal investigation, I think it’s incumbent upon us to do so as fast as possible for that transparency,” he said.

State police, as an outside agency, is investigating the shooting incident. The procedure is standard protocol.

Winstrom said he notified both Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and state police that he was releasing the video to the public.

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