Breaking News
More () »

Grand Rapids's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Grand Rapids, Michigan | WZZM13.com

Muskegon shooting suspect killed by police had 'ungovernable temper,' attorney says

The wife of the shooting suspect in Muskegon says that she had been involved with multiple calls to police asking for help long before Matthew Hartman was shot and killed by police in a standoff.

WEST OLIVE, Mich. - Police in two counties are piecing together what led up to a shooting in Muskegon that left one man dead and a woman injured. The shooting suspect, Matthew Hartman, was then involved a standoff in Ottawa County that ended with the suspect being killed by deputies.

It all started around 7:40 a.m. on Sunday April 22, at a home on Merrill Avenue near downtown Muskegon where a 29-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were shot. Investigators soon tracked the gunman down from the Muskegon incident to a house in the West Olive Estates Mobile Home park in West Olive.

That's where the standoff occurred.

Related: Prime suspect in fatal Muskegon shooting is dead

Police say Matthew Hartman, 27, had a gun to his wife, Mary Hartman's, head when he stepped out of his home that morning.

"After seeing one of her best friends killed and then standing beside her husband of five years was killed in the way that he was, it's not good," said Robert German, Mary Hartman's attorney.

"What she had experienced all along and had complained about was he had a ungovernable temper."

Police say Mary Hartman was in the car when her husband Matthew Hartman drove to Muskegon and shot her friend 29-year-old Jordan Carey and 25-year-old Mariah Cantu. Carey died from his injuries. Cantu was treated and released from the hospital.

Police believe Mary and Matthew Hartman then drove back to West Olive where police later surrounded the home and shot Matthew Hartman after he came out with a gun to his wife's head.

"I'm horrified. I don't even know if it's hit me as hard yet," said James Grubb, Mary's father.

German says Mary Hartman filed for a divorce in September 2017, and it was supposed to be finalized at the end of the month.

"She had explained [that] she had involved the police in a number of telephone calls for help, and she really felt the tables were getting turned on her," said German.

Mary Hartman was recently charged with false report of a felony.

German says that report involved another incident in which Matt Hartman allegedly pointed a gun at her. She later retracted the statement after German claims she grew frustrated with the police department's handling of the situation.

German says that's when Matthew Hartman got his gun back.

"She didn't have any faith in the system at all."

German wishes police handled the calls differently, then maybe this wouldn't have been the outcome.

"I can't argue what happened—but why it had to get that point—I think there could have been some things that could have diffused it," German said.

"It may have, it may not have, but at least it wouldn't be in this kind of a setting."

Mary Hartman had a court hearing on Tuesday, April 24 regarding that false report of a felony charge. The judge accepted her motion to dismiss charges.

The homicide investigation is being conducted by the Muskegon Police Department, and the domestic hostage situation is being investigated by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. The Michigan State Police Special Investigations Unit is investigating the officer involved shooting.

The Holland officer who was involved in the shooting was placed on paid administrative leave, following protocol for officer involved shootings.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.