GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WJBK) - The Kent County Prosecutor has determined that Grand Rapids police were justified in the shooting death of an 18-year-old man who was involved in a shootout with officers.
Earlier this week, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker released police in-car camera and officer body camera footage of the May 3 confrontation with Malik Carey. The videos released show the scene from several different viewpoints including the officer who spoke with Carey and other officers on the scene.
Carey was sitting in the back of a white car when he was approached by the officer. When asked his name, Carey was reluctant to respond and gave a fake name. After receiving a photo of Carey and confirming that he was in the back of the car, the officer opens the rear door to get Carey out.
That's when Carey reaches into his pants and pulls the gun, opening fire on the officer. The responding officers on scene scrambled around the car and returned fire.
Becker says Carey fired four shots before officers were able to fight back. One of the officers hit him with a Taser while he was still in the car but Carey was able to get up and run out of the vehicle. In the video, you can see the Taser being dragged behind Carey as he ran out of the car.
After getting out, police fired on Carey, hitting him two times. He later died from his injuries.
No officers were wounded by Carey's gunfire.
During Tuesday's announcement, Becker said that the shooting was justified and showed multiple video angles of the incident, saying they clearly show Carey pulling out a gun and firing at officers.
"They have a right to self-defense, they have a right to defend the other officers in the area, and they have a duty to protect the public at large form a person who sees fit to start shooting at officers who seek to place him under arrest," Becker's report says.
Becker's report says police saw Carey sitting in a parked car on May 3 in Grand Rapids and an officer believed he was a man wanted for absconding his probation.
Becker said Tuesday that up until the shooting started "there was no indication there was going to be trouble" and even said that he had been "cordial" with police. Officers said Carey refused to comply with officers' commands, pulled a handgun and fired at the officers.
According to FOX 17, Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said the situation was unavoidable.
"We really felt that this was a shooting that left the officers no other option," said Rahinsky. "This individual, unfortunate for him, the community and his family, made a decision that left the officers no other alternative but the path that they chose."
Becker and Rahinksy both called the event tragic and said police were justified in their actions and had no choice to protect themselves.
The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The state police also investigated the case.
Information from the Associated Press and FOX 17 was used in this report