Police officer killed during chase of bank robbers

A Walker police officer was killed on Interstate 96 in Ottawa County this morning during a chase of bank robbers that started in Muskegon County. "It could have been much worse," Lt. David Roesler of the Michigan State Police said during a press conference held at Coopersville City Hall this afternoon.
Mark Brooky
Oct 13, 2011

 

The incident began at around 10 a.m. when the Choice One Bank in Ravenna was held up at gunpoint. Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler said the suspects were "heavily armed" and held bank employees hostage while they took cash from the bank's vault and teller drawers.

A customer in his car outside the bank saw what was happening inside and called 911, Sheriff Roesler said.

Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague told WZZM-TV the bank robbery suspects may have been from the Grand Rapids or Wyoming areas, and may have been wanted for other robberies in the area. The FBI would not comment on the identity of the suspects.

After the bank heist, police soon located the suspects' vehicle, a blue Olds Bravada, then chased the SUV south from Ravenna into Ottawa County at high speeds, entering Interstate 96 at 68th Avenue in Coopersville.

Shots were fired at various points during the chase between police and the suspects, police said.

On I-96, the chase first headed east toward Grand Rapids, then the SUV cut west, then east again before turning back onto the westbound lanes, Lt. Roesler said.

At the Marne/Eighth Avenue exit ramp in Tallmadge Township, Walker Police Officer Trevor Slot was setting down spike strips to stop or slow down the suspects' vehicle when police said he was intentionally hit by the SUV shortly after 11 a.m.

The suspects then lost control of their SUV and ran off the roadway, between the exit ramp and the westbound lanes of the I-96. They exited the vehicle and opened fire on officers. Officers returned fire, and shot and killed both suspects, police said.

No officers were injured from gun fire, police said.

Walker Police Chief Catherine Garcia-Lindstrom said Slot is the first Walker police officer ever killed in the line of duty.

Slot, 41, was a nine-year veteran of the Walker Police Department, and was the department's court officer, Garcia-Lindstrom said. He was married with two daughters, ages 6 and 8.

State police are leading the investigation, with help from the local sheriff's departments and the FBI. The state police crime lab is currently investigating the scene of the fatal shootings.

Westbound I-96 between Marne and the county line remained closed for about eight hours after the incident.

Witnesses are asked to call the Michigan State Police Rockford post at 616-866-4411.

— WZZM-TV contributed to this report.

 

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