MSP: Ax-wielding man shot to death during confrontation near Traverse City

The Associated Press

Bagley Township, Mich. — State police say an ax-wielding man was shot to death Tuesday during a confrontation with four Otsego County sheriff's deputies at a northern Michigan home.

On Wednesday, state police officials said one of the deputies tried to subdue the man with a stun gun before the shooting. He deployed the device twice, but both attempts had no effect. 

They also said a witness outside the home who was about 200 feet from the confrontation reported hearing officers shout commands inside the home.

Furthermore, officials said a preliminary investigation shows the deputies were in very close proximity to the man when the shots were fired. The officers involved told state police the man was moving toward them with an ax raised when they fired.

Results of the state police investigation will be submitted to the Otsego County Prosecutor's Office for its review, officials said.

Officials said four deputies and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources officer shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday were sent to the home of 44-year-old Chad Williams in Bagley Township, northeast of Traverse City, because of a mental health petition issued by a judge.

Williams refused to answer his door, police said. A neighbor told investigators Williams threatened the officers with an ax.

Authorities secured the scene and obtained a warrant to enter the home, serve the court order and gather evidence related to a felonious assault.

As they entered, Williams confronted the police with an ax. Officials said deputies ordered Williams to drop the ax, but he refused to comply and was shot.

It's not clear who fired shots or how many were fired. None of the law enforcement officers were injured.

After the shooting, the sheriff's office requested Michigan State Police investigate the incident.

Detroit News writer Charles E. Ramirez contributed.