Trooper Butterfield: State Policeman Killed in Michigan Traffic Stop

Image: Trooper Butterfield: State Policeman Killed in Michigan Traffic Stop

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 08:54 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Michigan State Police trooper Paul Butterfield was shot and killed Monday and a man and a woman remained in custody as authorities try to piece together what went wrong at the traffic stop.

Butterfield died at Munson Hospital while doctors tried to save his life after suffering bullet wound to the head, according to the Muskegon Chronicle.

Authorities told the Chronicle that Butterfield had stopped a vehicle in Mason County on Custer Road. A passing motorist found Butterfield on the ground after he was shot and called 911 at 6:23 p.m. Monday.

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Based on information Butterfield told dispatchers about the vehicle during his initial stop, officers found a suspect at a convenience store in Wellston in Manistee County two hours later.

Police shot the man in the leg after authorities claimed he pointed a gun at them. A female who was with the suspect was taken into custody as well.

The suspect and the female have not been publicly identified by police, but according to the Chronicle, the suspect's father, John Knysz, of Irons, Mich., is a retired police officer.

"Our prayers go out to the trooper and his family and all his partners," Knysz told the newspaper for a story that was posted Tuesday. "We’re literally sick about that. Being a police officer, I know how they feel."

Knysz said his son asked to borrow the truck earlier in the day. He said his son didn't have a gun and that a gun was not missing from his residence.

WXYZ-TV in Detroit reported that Butterfield joined the Michigan State Police in 1999 and was veteran of the U.S. Army.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder called the shooting "senseless" and a reminder of the risk those in law enforcement face every day on the job.

"They are heroes," Snyder said in a statement, according to WXYZ-TV. "Our hearts break when a Michigan State Police trooper, or any of our other police officers or firefighters, is killed in the line of duty. Their loss is unquestionably felt by their families as well as the communities they serve and our entire state. We realize the extraordinary difficulty of their jobs and the sacrifices they make for us."

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Related stories:

Catonsville Shooting Leaves Police Officer Dead, Suspect Critical

Irvine Shooting: Police Wound Man While Serving Warrant

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