In a series of unfortunate events, a 41-year old man was shot and killed by police on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, during a domestic dispute. The man was a resident in Dowling, Michigan and was also reported to be suicidal.
Barry County Sheriff deputies were sent to a home around 6:30 p.m. at 9840 of Banfield Road after receiving a call about a domestic dispute between the suspect and his wife. The suspect was seen outside and was armed with two guns, then went back into his house and refused to come out. According to police, the man had already fired off two shots before police arrived at his home.
A law enforcement officer was heard over the police radios, saying, "He (the suspect) keeps saying it's not going to be pretty."
During the standoff, the suspect continued to ask to speak to his wife. The man and his wife have a history of domestic violence.
At 7:12 p.m., the suspect emerged from the house with his gun and headed to his truck, as police were heard over the scanner, "Subject walking toward truck, disregards comments."
Gunshots were fired, and the suspect was shot by police. He was pronounced dead at Pennock Hospital in Hastings, according to Detective First Lt. Chuck Christensen.
According to Lt. Christensen, the man did not fire shots at the police officers. Lt. Christensen is part of the Special Investigative Section of the Michigan State Police Fifth District Headquarters in Paw Paw.
An investigation will be done to determine if the police were justified in shooting the man. They are trying to determine if the man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are waiting on the toxicology results. They expect to have more answers by the end of the week.
This writer has the name of the suspect but will not publish it until the news medias have released that information. His name is being withheld to give authorities a chance to contact the suspect's family members.
UPDATE: Feb. 11, 2013 7:37 p.m.
Today, the name of the Dowling man killed by Barry County Sheriff deputies was released. His name is Ralph Elliott. Elliott was the co-owner of Elliott Body Shop.
It is reported that Elliott's wife was the person who called 911 on her husband, from a neighbor's house, when she saw he had two handguns in his possession. Elliott had earlier troubles involving domestic violence, as he previously was charged back in August 2012.
It is still being determined whether or not Elliott shot at the police, or if he was shooting the guns into the air. Deputies shot five times, hitting Elliott twice.
A local resident remembers Elliott fondly, explaining that Elliott was a nice neighbor.
He was the one in the community to come and welcome us into the community and told us if we needed anything...He stuck to it. Anytime you needed a favor, something to help us out, he's there.
Friends of Elliott's shared their viewpoints and expressed the fact that Elliott had gotten sober last year and was proud to reach a milestone in sobriety.
The police suspect alcohol may have been a factor and are waiting on toxicology reports to come back. One deputy involved in the shooting has been put on paid leave during the investigation.