2016-12-01 / News

Lawful Force Was Used To Protect Lives in Shooting, Prosecutor Says

Lawful force was used and no charges will be filed against Michigan State Police Trooper Justin Clark in the incident that resulted in the shooting of Dean Bruning in Hessel October 4. The decision announced by Mackinac County Prosecuting Attorney J. Stuart Spencer Wednesday, November 23, follows his review of an investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police.

“A review of the evidence establishes that this tragic death is a result of the lawful use of force by the Michigan State Trooper involved,” Mr. Spencer said, and the action was taken to defend lives.

In the October 4 incident, police were dispatched to West Chard Road in Hessel for a wellness check on Mr. Bruning. After multiple attempts to contact Mr. Bruning to verify his well-being, police entered the residence with loud announcements of who they were, and once inside, officers observed a person standing behind a curtain, raising a handgun and pointing it toward police. The man, later identified as Mr. Bruning, stepped out from behind the curtain and continued aiming the handgun at the officers. Trooper Clark, fearing for his life and those of the other two officers present, fired two shots from his service handgun, striking and killing Mr. Bruning.

“This is a tragic and terrible loss for the Bruning family. What started out as concern for a potentially suicidal individual and a request for a wellness check has ended with the death of Mr. Bruning. Likewise, this is a horrible experience for Trooper Clark. No law enforcement officer ever wants to be faced with the decision to shoot or not to shoot in order to protect another’s life. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bruning family, as well as Trooper Clark,” Mr. Spencer said.

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