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Officer involved in Bath Twp. shooting will not face charges

Bath Twp. Officer Involved Shooting
Posted at 9:42 AM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 09:42:08-05

BATH TWP., Mich. — The Bath Township Police Department officer, who shot and killed a man after responding to a domestic dispute, will not face charges.

The officer, only identified as Sgt. Hamilton, shot and killed 24 year-old Lucas Charles Gainforth on Jan. 2 at the Dutch Hills mobile home park.

In a statement from Clinton County Prosecutor Tony Spagnuolo, it was determined the shooting was a reasonable use of force given the circumstances.

"If a police officer shooting is justified, such as the one in this case, then it has to be reasonable," Spagnuolo wrote. "Reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and the calculus of reasonableness must allow for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments, in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving, about amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation."

That statement goes on to say when Gainforth left the home with two pistols and pointed them at Hamilton and the woman identified as Gainforth's mother, a reasonable officer in that position would have felt his and the mother's life were in danger.

Body camera footage released Jan. 5 showed Gainford pointing a gun at Hamilton and Gainforth's mother. Hamilton asked Gainforth to drop the weapons, which Gainforth refused.

Hamilton shot 10 rounds and Gainforth collapsed on the porch. The guns were confiscated, and he was given medical aid.

The guns were later identified as replicas.

Spagnuolo said an officer in Hamilton's position would not have been able to tell the pistols "were not real guns."

"As a result, the lethal force that Sgt. Hamilton used in response of the perceived threat was justified and not excessive given the gravity of the situation," Spagnuolo wrote.

No further action will be taken.

The Bath Township Police Department also conducted an internal investigation into the incident and found no policies or procedures were violated.

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Mikayla Temple

Mikayla Temple

1:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Mikayla Temple

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