Prosecutor: No charges against troopers in fatal Beaver Twp. shooting

Associated Press

Beaver Twp. — No criminal charges will be filed against two state police troopers in the fatal shooting of a 63-year-old man in northwestern Michigan.

Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay said in a news release Tuesday that the troopers acted in self-defense and that their use of force was reasonable.

Johnny King was in a small, fifth-wheel trailer when he was shot May 22 in Newaygo County’s Beaver Township. State police have said troopers were responding to a domestic dispute in the area, 60 miles north of Grand Rapids.

“Two troopers entered the trailer to speak with King,” Stay said in a release. “King became combative and pointed a rifle at the troopers. The troopers discharged their service weapons, striking King, who died at the scene.”

King’s weapon turned out to be an air rifle that resembled a firearm, according to the prosecutor’s office.

King’s uncle, Harry Pulsipher Sr., told WOOD-TV in May that police were called to the property because of a dispute between his ex-wife and King. He said King grabbed a BB gun as an officer moved toward him. 

“He says, ‘I’m not leaving my house,’ and the cop started towards him and he reached up, he had a little BB gun up there, he grabbed that BB gun and he brought it down,” Pulsipher said. “That’s when the guy shot him. He didn’t point it at nobody, he just brought it down off the thing.”