Police mum on swordman killing

A man who was shot and killed by police after refusing to drop a sword last week is being remembered as someone who loved his family despite a troubling past.
Krystle Wagner
Jul 17, 2012

Norton Shores police went to the 600 block of East Sternberg Road late Thursday afternoon after neighbors reported a domestic abuse situation. An officer shot Christopher Burroughs, 34, after he wouldn't put his samurai sword down when ordered.

Burroughs was taken to a Muskegon hospital, where he died Friday.

Norton Shores Police said state police are handling the investigation.

David Roesler, assistant commander for the Michigan State Police 6th District, said investigators will interview witnesses, officers and gather physical evidence from the scene. The findings will be turned over to the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office, Roesler said.

Norton Shores Police Chief Dan Shaw said the officer who shot Burroughs is on administrative leave until the investigation is completed.

“We’re anxiously awaiting the reports from the state police,” Shaw said.

Burroughs worked as a home health care assistant for Westshore Medical and was a member of the LTBB Odawa Indians.

Muskegon County Circuit Court records show Burroughs had a history in the court system.

In 1995, he was charged with larceny from a vehicle and pled guilty. He was sentenced to 24 months probation and boot camp. He later violated that probation and was sentenced to 16-30 months in prison.

In 1998, he was charged with assault and unarmed robbery, and pled no contest. He was sentenced to four to 15 years in prison.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

 

Comments

truthhurts

yep, loved his family enough to beat his girlfriend in the face and put his mother in the middle of a stand off with police. A real standup, loving guy. I want to thank the police for taking this bum out of the system. 3 strikes and you're out!!!

donna282

I cant believe this guy was allowed to be a home health care worker. With him being convicted of assault and robbery I dont understand how Westshore Medical could allow this person into peoples homes. Would make me think twice about using them as a resource for in home care. Scary to think they are not doing background checks or not caring if an employee has a violent past.

AtomicRooster

Please for the sake and safety of the community never become a Police Officer. We don't need Police Officers with your kind of mentality and mindset. Thank you and have a nice day.

opinionscount

I agree completely.

opinionscount

I assume that by listing all of the past skeletons of Burroughs, you are hoping to bring justification to to his death? I hope that he was aggressively swinging this sword at someone whenever he was shot and killed. If he was only refusing to put it down, then his death is not justified and someone should be held accountable.

AtomicRooster

exactly. seems no one else here sees that point. The officer needs to be held accountable and charged.

ohwell

Figures there are going to be people Monday morning quarterbacking about the police doing their jobs. As you will see from his rap sheet, he was not an upstanding person of the community, quite the opposite. Yes, some people get rehabilitated in prison, this guy was not one of them, far from it. Someone who loves his family doesn't go around beating them.

AtomicRooster

For the sake and safety of the community, do us all a favor and never become a Police Officer.

opinionscount

Exactly. Just because they wear a badge doesn't give them free-reign to take the lives of others simply because they won't comply to their demands. Possibly, this guy wasn't "all there" and had mental issues. Just a thought. All in all, I can't get my head around the justification of his death just because he had a rap list.

AtomicRooster

Whether or not this man had a record or not, does not justify shooting him fatally. There is an old saying; you never bring a knife to a gun fight. I doubt hardly his sword could shoot bullets. The State Police should of been called in to diffuse the situation. They are TRUE professionals. The Norton Shores Police showed unprofessionalism and abused their power in the incident and if the State Police would of been called in the first place this man would still be alive today. They went over the top on this one and the Officer who shot and killed him needs to be held accountable and should be terminated and charged with murder. But they have a badge they can hide behind and this incident will blow over quickly and everything will go back to "business as usual". And I am sure they feel justified in this shooting incident. Think how the victims family must feel right now? How would you feel if it was your relative that you were going to a funeral to? The comments I have read here only tells me one thing. I am so glad none of you ever became Police Officers. Because we'd be in serious trouble with the kind of mindset you have all have displayed here. I have never read so many backwood Southern redneck comments in my life here today. Are you all that perfect? I think not. Buford Pusser we can do without.

ohwell

Much to your disbelief, all the police in the area get about the same training as the MI State Police, if not more at times. I have been around and involved at some local law enforcement agencies (sorry to burst your bubble), and have participated in some of the training. Also most police personnel I know think they same way I do. Do you know fast someone with a knife can cover a 6 foot area? It is within seconds that they are able to stab and kill you. Here is something your pea brain to chew on, bullet proof vests do not stop knives from penetrating you. As they are called, they only stop bullets (and not all) such as long rifles. You ask if I had a family member like that, I would have put a stop to his nonsense of beating his family long before the police were able to put an end to his life. I would have shown him what a real man would do once he found out he was beating let's say my sister or daughter. I would feel sorry that he throw away what could have been a wonderful life. Instead he choose (I am sure no one forced him to be a felon) a life of being a menace to society. You should be thanking the Norton Shores officers for saving you tax dollars to house this guy for the rest of life, and provide free meals and medical (which BTW they get better medical care than the officers and guards). All of this on the back of your tax dollars.

AtomicRooster

Well Buford, we are all glad you are not a Police Officer with the kind of mindset and mentality you have displayed. You would be a danger to the community and to your fellow officers if you were a Police Officer. And if you were a Police Officer at any one time I am very glad you are not now. And NO you surely did not burst my bubble. And we can do without your name calling here. Only shows you have low intelligence and are very immature. What are you about 2? I can hardly believe you had any kind of law enforcement training. Pea brain? Is that the best you can do Buford? Talking to someone like yourself is the same as having a conversation with a sock puppet and have the cranial capacity that of a caged canary. We all can see your redneck and it shows loud and clear here and violence is the only way you know how to handle a situation like this. If you have a CPL it should be revoked just on general principles. On the contrary, YOU are a menace to society just like the victim. You're no better or worse than he was.

ohwell

You continue to amaze me with your posts. Name calling? You must be looking in the mirror. You are the one that is name calling (have in other posts in different subjects here). Buford, does that ring a bell? Pea brain was comment on the size of your brain, since you think that someone with a knife is harmless. I do have a CCW and know when to use my weapon if needed. A knife is a deadly weapon, just as much as a gun. Yes with all the sun lately, my neck is a little red. How did you know? I am no better than the guy that was shot? I do not have a criminal record, the biggest crime I have committed is speeding, yep have the tickets to prove it. I am not a menace that beats helpless women. Do you know any police officers? I am not thinking you are very close to them if you do. As they would have the same thoughts as I have.

AtomicRooster

You should be amazed. You cannot handle higher intelligence is all. I noticed you like to dish it out but cannot take it. How do you come up with these witty lines? You must be about 2. You are about as smart as a box of rocks and as exciting as watching milk sour. I've been tracking your posts on other subjects and incidents as well. I cannot believe that the County Board actually issued you a CCW. It should be revoked just on the general principles you exude. You are a danger to yourself and the community being allowed to carry a firearm which in my book make you a menace. You don't need to be a clinical psychologist to figure out that you are not wrapped very tight. By the way Buford I do know quite a few Police Officers that I went to school with and many don't think like you do. And their necks are quite as RED as yours. And one of them is a retired State Police Officer. Have a nice day.

AtomicRooster

I believe I have you figured out now which wasn't hard in the first place being the simpleton you are. You just recently found out what a pathetic loser you are and the only way you can vent your frustrations about this is to come to the Grand Haven Tribune and post your moronic posts and try to impress everyone that you are some kind of mental giant which you are light years away from ever being. Anyone with half a brain out in the public eye wouldn't give you the time of day even if they were giving watches away. Oh what a joy your co-workers must have everyday having to interact with you. NOT! They must either have to bow down to your low level mentality or they avoid you like the bubonic plague. And for the most part can only tolerate you in very small doses. My sympathies go out now to your co-workers. Seek professional help. You've been in dire need of it for quite some time now. And that is quite obvious.

SeaRayCBR

What about using those bean bags that they shoot that are non lethal?? Not sure if the police carry those around here but better than shooting a guy to death. Everyone has bad days and i'm not saying it's ok to take it out on your wife/girlfriend or whomever but to kill a guy for not putting his sword down?!?! I mean c'mon..that just doesn't even sound right...I do think it is funny that they have listed his prior convictions and people say well in that case he was a bad guy and deserved what he got...just crazy to me!! I can see if the guy was pointing a gun or anything that looked to be a gun but like a previous post said..don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Heck worst case shoot the guy in the leg once and i'm sure that would have made him go down but still alive. Shooting a guy 3 times is nuts!! Some cop on a ego/power trip?? I think so... And as far as the whole not having to pay taxes to house and support this guy is really just dumb to say as no matter if he lived or died I am pretty sure i'm still going to have to pay taxes no matter what I or anybody else thinks...

BackWhereIComeFrom

You can not just shoot a guy in the leg to try and disarm him. Cops are trained to shoot to kill. In fact, anyone shooting a gun at someone better have the intentions and understanding that their actions may kill someone, otherwise they have absolutely no right to be shooting the gun in the first place.

opinionscount

Your comment is scary. Very alarming. They are trained to serve and protect...not kill and destroy.

truthhurts

right on. If you decide to shoot, you shoot to kill.

ohwell

Shooting a guy 3 times is nuts!! Do you know all 3 shots came from one cop? There is no ego there, the police are trained to a minimum of double tap. There is no one shot, one kill. This is TV, this real life, and the police are trained to be the ones that walk away, not the bad guys. Were you there to know how long the blade was, and to know how close the guy was to the police officers? It takes a matter of seconds to stab you. If you didn't read already, bullet proof vests are not designed to stop knifes or long rifles. As someone else said, there is no shoot to wound either. Only shoot to kill, as it is anytime you pull the trigger.

ghresident

In my opinion this was a justifiable shooting, a police officer does not just pull the trigger without due cause. Either he failed to put down the sword and tazzering was not an option or he made attemps to due bodily harm to the officer or others which resulted in the shooting.One more POS wife/ girlfreind beater off the streets

opinionscount

"...a police officer does not just pull the trigger without due cause." The key word in your sentence is "due" cause. If they choose to be in law enforcement, they choose the responsibility that comes with it. Just because he was a bad guy doesn't justify his death. If necessary, they could have shot the guy in the leg...arm...whatever, without taking his life.

ohwell

You people with this shoot to wound mentality are really scary. Folks police officers are NOT trained to shoot to wound, they ARE trained to shoot to kill. People this guy you are defending was a convicted felon, and was swinging a deadly weapon around. All of this after he just got done beating his girlfriend. Were the cops suppose to let this guy run wild, and try and talk him "down"? People keep saying this cop has shot and killed someone before. I say good for him for doing his job, you know to protect and serve. Your words......."Just because he was a bad guy doesn't justify his death." No the fact that he was threatening people with a deadly weapon, is enough justification to shoot him. I say next time you go over and offer him (the bad guy) a glass of tea (you know maybe the heat got him), and see how well that works out for you. As he is slicing you up with his knife. Next, you people will be wanting to disarm the police, and give them candy to pass out to the bad guys. Maybe that will make someone stop beating his girlfriend.

43°North

well isn't that just a silly comment. There will be no 'next time', the guy is DEAD you moron! He won't be slicing anybody up, he is DEAD. You say "I say good for him (the officer) for doing his job" what, killing citizens? I wish you were a police officer, oh I forgot you flunked out and are now Civilian Patrol! I really hope there is no 'next time' for this cop, ever, either.

ghresident

In responce to your comment towards ohwell, stop with your self righteous hollier than thou idiotic statements. Yes this guy is DEAD, he got what he had coming.

horst

Atomic Rooster, you sound like a typical bleeding heart, liberal, democrat. You can't put together a factual argument so you have to attack people that disagree with your brainless logic. Watch MSNBC and you'll see more of you morons in action when it comes to second guessing every issue. Fact, when the officers (not just the shooter) asked this genius several times to drop the sword, he raised it above his head. Fact, the State Police would have done nothing more than backed up the Norton Shores police, possibly with high powered rifles. Fact, last time this officer tried to talk another jack_ss with a knife out of hurting someone, he got stabbed (I’m just happy he didn't allow this idiot the chance to get that close). Fact, the State Police were not trying to stop the bank robbers that killed the Walker police officer several years age, with sweet talk and kisses. The State Police were shooting at them, even before the untimely officer’s death. Fact, police officers and anyone that has taken an approved shooting course is trained to aim at mass. This is life not some damn spaghetti western where they shoot the bad guy in the leg.
$1 worth of bullets or two knife/sword wielding felons @$150,000 a year in prison. I say "BUY MORE BULLETS".
Rooster, stop justifying other people’s poor actions or maybe you'll be the next victim of a weapon carry bum that you think can be saved with a hug.

AtomicRooster

I'm neither Democrat nor Republican. Please don't ever become a Police officer. The kind of mindset you exude here would only put the community in danger with someone with that kind of mentality you have displayed here of being out in the streets.

43°North

however, so typical of the Tribune, this slanted story does not tell us anything about the officer who shot the guy three (3!) times for holding a sword. I read in the Chronicle that this was the same officer who shot and killed someone for wielding a KNIFE just a couple of years ago. They weren't 'mum' about this, go read it. He got off on that one scott-free. Although I think he should be held accountable, what are the chances of his peers finding fault in him this time?

ghresident

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained profanity. Discussion Guidelines

43°North

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