Suspect identified in Branch County trooper shooting

UNION CITY, MICH. - Two Michigan State Police officers were shot during the Wednesday, January 23rd altercation that left 62-year-old David Kidney of Union City, Michigan dead.

A cold case investigation with a search warrant led MSP officers to 595 Francisco Road in Union City, at which point they came under fire from Kidney.

Sgt. Aaron Steensma is in serious but stable condition after being shot in the chest.

Trooper Daniel Thayer was shot in the hand and chest, though the latter round was stopped by his ballistic vest. All Michigan State Police personnel were wearing body armor during the shooting.

Kidney's autopsy showed his cause of death to be a single gunshot wound "sustained while exchanging gunfire with troopers."

The investigation is still ongoing.

Steensma's family sent a statement about his condition: 

Family Statement: We would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone for your outpouring of support. Not only from the Michigan State Police and but also from surrounding police, fire and EMS agencies as well as friends and surrounding communities. We would like to give a special thanks to the personnel who helped take care of Aaron on the scene and help get him to safety, as well as all of the medical personnel who have provided excellent treatment and care for Aaron in his time of need.

Aaron is a family oriented guy and very involved in the community. He loves being involved with his children at their sporting events and he will be greatly missed while he continues to recover from this horrifying incident. It’s something we knew could happen at any time but there is no way to prepare yourself for it when it does occur. He loves his job and we are all very proud of his accomplishments while working with the Michigan State Police. Please continue to keep Aaron and our family in your thoughts and prayers as well as all of the emergency responders out protecting and serving.

If you would like to make a donation to Steensma it can be made here. Please be sure to put D/Sgt. Aaron Steensma in the in memory/honor and support of box. Checks can be mailed to: 1715 Abbey Rd Suite B East Lansing, Mich. 48823. 

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