GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids police say a man was shot and killed by an officer during a traffic stop Monday morning.
Grand Rapids police say it started Monday morning near the intersection of Griggs and Nelson when an officer conducted a traffic stop.
Police say the driver exited the vehicle and tried to run away.
After a short chase, a “lengthy struggle ensued” between the officer and the suspect. That’s when the officer shot at the man, killing him.
The officer was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but he is expected to be OK.
GRPD says it's not clear why the officer initiated the traffic stop but the vehicle does appear to have a plate on it that does not belong to it.
Grand Rapids police say the officer was wearing a body camera. It fell off during the struggle, but GRPD says the camera was still on the scene and activated and will be reviewed.
Michigan State Police will take over the investigation, which is standard practice in cases like this.
GRPD says the officer has been with the department since 2015 and was working alone at the time of the shooting.
“The loss of life is always tragic. I’m praying for our community, and for everyone impacted by this incident. I’m encouraged by the partnership that Chief Winstrom and GRPD have demonstrated. The role of my office to observe and audit the process to ensure it is fair, just, and thorough,” said Brandon Davis, Director of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. “Working together through this process will help increase the confidence in the community that this incident was handled transparently and appropriately.”
FOX 17 spoke to a witness of the incident who wished to remain anonymous.
"It was a wrestling match. If you were to watch a two-minute wrestling match. It just happened to be in my front yard," the witness said.
The witness says the police officer was on top of the man throughout most of the struggle.
“I was trying to deescalate the situation. I was telling him, stay down man. Just please stay down," said the witness.
The witness, a black man, says he feared for the man in the struggle. He also said he did not see the man with a weapon.
"I feel if he had a weapon on him, he would have used it. In that same breath, the police officer did five or six steps to try to deescalate the situation," the witness said.
The witness says the officer also used non-lethal force.
“The taser was used. The taser didn’t work,” the witness said.
Saying in a matter of mere moments, he witnessed the worst thing he could ever imagine.
"It just went from two to ten. Then pop. I could tell the officer was shocked."