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Belding officer cleared in slaying during shootout

10:19 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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Michigan State Police Troopers monitor traffic along M-44 in Belding, near a shooting that left one male suspect dead on Jan. 5, 2013. Photo courtesy: Cory Smith/ The Greenville Daily News
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  • BELDING, Mich. (AP) -- A 15-year police veteran has been cleared in the death of a mid-Michigan man during a shootout last month.

    State police Lt. Kevin Sweeney tells MLive.com for a story Thursday that the Ionia County prosecutor determined the Jan. 5 slaying of 55-year-old Bernard Rowley was justified.

    Police have said Rowley fired shots outside the Belding Police department, shattering the window of a police cruiser.

    An officer inside the building heard the gunshots, went outside and saw a man getting into a van. The officer followed the van, called for backup and was assisted by a state trooper.

    When they stopped the van, Rowley got out and began shooting at the patrol cars. The Belding officer returned fire, killing Rowley.

    The officer's name was not released.

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