BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Michigan State Police is investigating after a Battle Creek Police officer fired their gun into a vehicle during a traffic stop and struck a passenger.
According to a press release from the City of Battle Creek, it happened just after midnight Tuesday in the area of Columbia Avenue and LaVista Boulevard.
The press release says that the officer stopped the vehicle for "numerous traffic violations" that included erratic driving, stopping and backing up in the middle of the road, and an illegal turn.
As the officer spoke with the driver outside the vehicle, a second officer arrived and approached the vehicle's front passenger side. The press release said the second officer saw a gun in the passenger's waistband and commanded the passenger to put their hands up, so they could remove the gun for safety.
According to the press release, the passenger initially followed the second officer's commands, but as the officer reached for the gun, began to resist and allegedly reached for a second gun on the floor.
"The officer quickly responded by firing his duty weapon and striking the passenger," says Police Chief Jim Blocker.
The second officer shot their own gun, hitting the passenger.
The passenger was taken to a hospital in Kalamazoo for non-life threatening injuries. The two officers and the driver were not injured in the incident. The driver was arrested on charges related to the traffic stop. Both guns were recovered from the incident.
Michigan State Police is now investigating the incident. Both Battle Creek Police Department officers were placed on paid administrative lead, pending the investigation's outcome.
On Tuesday city leaders in Battle Creek voted in favor of spending more than $700,000 on body cameras for officers. More than 60 devices will be purchased and the Police Chief believes the move will help during these types of situations.
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