With such an abundance of news reports about unarmed victims getting shot and killed by cops, it’s almost surprising to hear about police shootings that came as a result of self defense. This was the case in Cato Township, Michigan, when a state trooper shot and killed a man after that man shot a sheriff’s deputy with a crossbow.
According to the Associated Press, the 40-year-old man was confronted by the Montcalm County deputy and the state trooper at his home in Cato Township after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The Michigan man reportedly brought out a crossbow and shot the deputy in the side. In response, the state trooper opened fire on the man with the crossbow, killing him at the scene.
The sheriff’s deputy was rushed to Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital to undergo surgery for the crossbow injury. He is now in stable condition.
You can see the local Fox 17 News report on the crossbow shooting below.
Despite the clear indication of an attack by crossbow, the state trooper’s shooting is being investigated. He has since been placed on administrative duty until the crossbow killing is determined to be justified.
Lt. Kevin Sweeney spoke to the Associated Press about the crossbow shooting on Saturday, revealing that the state trooper was most likely acting within the constraints of the law, which permits “officers to point or discharge a firearm in self-defense or defense of another when he or she reasonably believes there is imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.” The crossbow shooting seems to apply in this case.
“While in the process of making the arrest, the suspect shot at the officers with a crossbow, striking a Montcalm County deputy,” said the police statement. “The trooper returned fire, striking the suspect at least once.”
While the trooper himself had not been harmed, the sheriff’s deputy he was with had clearly been impaled by a crossbow arrow.
As for why the Cato Township man felt the need to open fire with a crossbow, MLive reports that there had been a disagreement between the man and his neighbors, the Schultz family. While Sweeney did not reveal the name of the 40-year-old Michigan man with the crossbow, his neighbor, Kevin Schultz, identified him as Travis Lee Quay.
Quay allegedly appeared at the Schultz’ house drunk at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, accusing them of stealing his marijuana. He returned shortly after, brandishing a hunting knife in front of Tim Schultz and his 3-year-old granddaughter.
“He pulled it out right on me and my grandchild. He was standing here yelling,” Tim Schultz said.
But the threats didn’t end there. Before Quay brought out the crossbow, he threatened to burn down the Schultz’ house, carrying a gas can as he did so.
After the marijuana incident led to a warrant for Quay’s arrest, Kevin Schultz claimed that his neighbor stated his defiance to being taken into custody.
“He said if they come up to my house, they aren’t taking me alive,” said Schultz.
And that’s ultimately what ended up happening. The 40-year-old resorted to firing a crossbow at the police officers instead of being arrested, and he didn’t make it out of the confrontation alive.
“I saw a little shuffling by the officers, then ‘bang, bang, bang,’ ” Kevin added. “I thought I could see a cop drop, then I saw muzzle fire.”
Do you think the killing of Travis Lee Quay was justified after he shot a sheriff’s deputy with a crossbow?
[Image credit: Orlando / Getty Images; Facebook; Fox 17 News]