The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office responded to a medical call to the 300 block of Beeline Road in Holland Township at 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving. When the deputy and reserve officer arrived, a 43-year-old white male came out of his apartment and moved aggressively toward the deputy while brandishing a “very large knife,” Sheriff-elect Steve Kempker said.
The sheriff’s office has turned over the investigation to the Michigan State Police. The officer, who has been with the department for “several years” was placed on administrative leave, Kempker said.
“This is nothing any department wants to go through, any deputy or officer wants to go through. Our sympathy goes out to the family. Our officer was placed in a tragic situation tonight,” Kempker said.
When the man did not drop the knife after being told to do so several times, the deputy fired three shots, striking the man and killing him, Kempker said, something confirmed by witnesses. AMR Ambulance medics attempted emergency medical treatment, but were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead on the scene. The officers were unharmed.
Police believe the deceased man is the one who made the 911 call that brought police to the scene, but could not say whether there was a legitimate medical concern. The state police will investigate any previous calls to 911 from the residence as well as any past contact the deceased man may have had with police or mental health services, Kempker said.
He was the only one at the apartment at the time, but police have not determined if he lived alone.
“We have a lot of unknowns we are working on,” Kempker said.