VAN BUREN TWP. (WWJ) – A 37-year-old man has been shot and killed by Michigan State Police troopers following a chase in Wayne County.
According to MSP Lt. Mike Shaw, it all started Friday afternoon at Van Born and Telegraph Road in Taylor, when troopers pulled a man over — identified as Richard Parent of Flat Rock — for a seatbelt violation.
“When the trooper approached the vehicle, the driver of the pickup truck — which you can kind of see behind me — stated that he was a sovereign citizen and wasn’t required to render any kind of information to law enforcement,” Shaw told WWJ’s Zahra Huber. “Troopers tried to remove him from the vehicle to obtain his ID at which time he fled the scene.”
Shaw said Parent then led troopers on an “extended pursuit” that included I-275, I-96 and I-94 at speeds up to 100 mph.
Troopers used pit maneuvers to get him to stop, and were eventually able to box him in near the entrance to Lower Huron Metropark on Haggerty Road near I-94 in Van Buren Township.
“The driver exited the vehicle displaying a handgun,” Shaw said. “He ran into the woodline, displayed a shooting stance and troopers engaged the individual.”
Shots were fired by police and Parent was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
In audio obtained by WWJ, an officer is heard on a police scanner as the situation began to unfold:
“Shots fired, shots fired! He’s got a pistol!” a male voice says. “Hey, somebody give me a patrol car down here with a long gun; I need some cover.” Another voice is heard telling him to keep cover and wait for backup.
It’s unclear at this time if, as was earlier reported, Parent also fired shots; but Shaw says the man did point his gun at police.
“This individual was not only a danger to us troopers, as police officers, but also to the public themselves,” Shaw said. “Anybody that’s willing to almost run over police officers to get away, to drive through pit maneuvers, to drive different ways on the freeway is absolutely a danger to society. And, yes, we will pursue them until we catch them.”
Shaw said one trooper suffered a minor injury during the chase.
“We’re going to sit here and we’re going to investigate this to our fullest ability to make sure the troopers did everything they were supposed to according to the law and also according to our official policies,” Shaw said. “But we get weeks, months, a year to decide if everything they did correct when they had a split second to decide if they were going to take somebody’s life or if they were going to die on the spot.”
Haggerty Road was closed in Van Buren Township as a result of the investigation.