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Shooting suspect killed by police had 'ungovernable temper,' attorney says

By Jaleesa Irizarry/WZZM-TV • Apr 23, 2018 at 7:46 PM

WEST OLIVE — Police in two counties are piecing together what led to a shooting in Muskegon that left a man dead and a woman injured.

The shooting suspect, Matthew Hartman, was then involved in a standoff in Ottawa County that ended with Hartman being killed by deputies.

It all started at around 7:40 a.m. Sunday, April 22, at a home on Merrill Avenue near downtown Muskegon, where a 29-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were shot. Investigators soon tracked the gunman from the Muskegon incident to a house in the West Olive Estates mobile home park in West Olive. That's where the standoff occurred.

Police said Matthew Hartman, 27, had a gun to the head of his wife, Mary Hartman, when he stepped out of his home Sunday morning.

"After seeing one of her best friends killed and then standing beside her husband of five years was killed in the way that he was, it's not good," said Robert German, Mary Hartman's attorney. "What she had experienced all along and had complained about was he had a ungovernable temper."

Police said Mary Hartman was in the car when her husband drove to Muskegon and shot her friend, 29-year-old Jordan Carey, and 25-year-old Mariah Cantu. Carey died from his injuries. Cantu was treated and released from a local hospital.

Police believe the Hartmans then drove back to West Olive, where police later surrounded the home and shot Matthew Hartman after he came out with a gun to his wife's head.

Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect ignored several police commands to drop his gun. Officers then shot the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I'm horrified. I don't even know if it's hit me as hard yet," said Mary's father, James Grubb.

German said Mary Hartman filed for a divorce in September 2017, and it was supposed to be finalized at the end of this month.

"She had explained (that) she had involved the police in a number of telephone calls for help, and she really felt the tables were getting turned on her," German said.

Mary Hartman was recently charged with false report of a felony. German said that report involved another incident in which Matt Hartman allegedly pointed a gun at her. She later retracted the statement after German claims she grew frustrated with the police department's handling of the situation.

German said that's when Matt Hartman got his gun back.

"She didn't have any faith in the system at all,” the attorney said.

German said he wishes police handled the calls differently, then maybe Sunday’s incident wouldn’t have happened.

"I can't argue what happened, but why it had to get that point,” he said. “I think there could have been some things that could have diffused it.”

Mary Hartman has a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, regarding that false report of a felony charge.

The state police are investigating Sunday’s officer-involved shooting of Matthew Hartman.

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