By Mark Constance
GAYLORD – The investigation by Michigan State Police (MSP) officials into the shooting of a mentally ill Gaylord man is ongoing.
According to Lt. Travis House of the MSP, Gaylord Regional Dispatch Center received a report of shots fired at 3295A Old 27 July 2 at about 11:11 a.m. Otsego Deputies went to the residence of 44-year-old Chad Williams regarding a mental health petition issued by a judge. Williams refused to come to the door.
While deputies were at his residence, a neighbor reported that Williams had threatened him with an axe. Deputies secured the scene and obtained a search warrant to enter the residence to seize evidence related to the felonious assault and serve the court order (petition).
A Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer was employed to assist the deputies as they executed the search warrant. Upon entering the residence, officers were confronted by Williams, who was holding an axe. Williams was ordered to drop the axe but refused to comply and was ultimately shot. Williams was killed in altercation. The officers were uninjured.
Following the incident, the Otsego County Sheriff Matthew Nowicki asked the Michigan State Police to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. MSP detectives, the Grayling MSP Crime Lab, and aviation assets were deployed to the venue and have completed the at-scene investigation.
A report of the investigation will be sent to the Otsego Prosecutor for review upon completion, including analysis of evidence by lab personnel and the forensic pathologist.
Upon completing multiple interviews and comparing statements with evidence located at the scene, the MSP detectives have found:
1) According to the involved officers and evidence found by detectives, one of the involved Otsego County Deputies attempted to use less lethal force prior to the shooting. The deputy twice deployed a Taser to subdue Mr. Williams. Both attempts had no effect.
2) A witness outside the home and roughly 200 feet away reported hearing the officers shouting commands during the confrontation inside the residence.
3) Given information from the involved officers and the layout of the home, the initial assessment of the scene suggests the involved officers were in very close proximity to Mr. Williams at the time the shots were fired. The officers further reported Mr. Williams was advancing towards them with the axe raised when they fired.
The investigation is ongoing.
OTSEGO COUNTY – Deputies from the Otsego County Sheriff Department were involved in a deadly force incident about 11:11 am. , according to Michigan State Police (MSP) Lt. Travis House. During the incident, a man was killed at a residence on Old US-27 near Gaylord.
The Gaylord Regional Dispatch Center received the initial report that shots had been fired at the residence. Deputies were reportedly serving a search warrant related to an active investigation.
“A male suspect is deceased, and … no officers were killed,” House said.
House said the incident occurred in Bagley Township.
The incident is under investigation.
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