MASON COUNTY (WWJ) – The Michigan State Police is confirming that Trooper Paul Butterfield of the Hart Post was killed Monday night after being shot while conducting a traffic stop.
Tpr. Butterfield had stopped a vehicle around 6:20 p .m. Monday on Custer Road near Townline Road in Mason County. A few moments later, a passing motorist called 9-1-1 to report finding Butterfield on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. Butterfield was airlifted to Munson Hospital, where he passed away during emergency surgery.
Based on information Tpr. Butterfield relayed to dispatch about the vehicle he stopped, a suspect was developed. Through a series of incidents in the area, law enforcement located the suspects at a gas station/convenience store in Wellston in Manistee County at approximately 8:25 p.m. There was an exchange of gunfire with two suspects, resulting in one suspect being shot.
Two suspects, a male and female, were taken into custody. The male was transported to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
Tpr. Butterfield joined the state police force in 1999, graduating as a member of the 118th Trooper Recruit School.
Early Tuesday morning, Gov. Rick Snyder said Tpr. Butterfield’s death is a loss for the entire state.
“This senseless incident is a grim reminder that our brave public safety officers put their lives on the line every day when they go to work protecting Michiganders. They are heroes,” Snyder said in the written statement.
“Our hearts break when a Michigan State Police trooper, or any of our other police officers or firefighters, is killed in the line of duty. Their loss is unquestionably felt by their families as well as the communities they serve and our entire state. We realize the extraordinary difficulty of their jobs and the sacrifices they make for us,” he continued.