Family left heartbroken after loved one killed by Michigan State Police trooper
SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A family is heartbroken after their loved one was killed by Michigan State Police on Saturday night in Shiawassee County.
The family said they want answers on why the trooper didn’t address the victim’s mental health before he pulled the trigger.
Just after 6 p.m. Saturday, a trooper from the Michigan State Police Flint Post responded to a call about a man walking strangely along Brewer Road in Shiawassee County. He later was identified as 37-year-old Randy Jenkins Jr.
When the trooper confronted him, investigator said Jenkins became combative. The trooper deployed a Taser on him.
An statement issued Sunday said Jenkins then pulled a gun and shot at the trooper. ABC12 News obtained the audio from dispatch that tells a different story:
“He’s got a gun, he just fired it off. I got one tase. I think he shot himself,” said the trooper in the Shiawassee County Central Dispatch audio.
It’s not clear exactly whether Jenkins shot himself or if the trooper shot him. The Michigan State Police First District Investigative Response Team from the Lansing area was called into to lead the investigation.
Michigan State Police didn’t offer a reason for the discrepancy between the information about the trooper-involved shooting and the radio traffic indicating Jenkins’ gunshot wound may be self-inflicted.
Jenkins’ family said he needed help not force.
“It’s horrible. He’s had it ever since he was little. We didn’t know the signs until he got a divorce,” said Laurie Woods, who is Jenkins’ sister.
Woods said Jenkins has suffered from mental health issues for years. Just Saturday morning, she called the Owosso Police Department because she feared her brother was suicidal.
“For two years I’ve been calling the Owosso Police Department to get him help,” said Woods.
Instead, her brother’s four children are left without a father.
“It’s just been a big mess trying to wrap our heads around it. They left his blood down there, it’s still on the ground. I think it could have been handled differently,” said Woods.
She said her brother’s shooting is a grim reminder of lack of education on how to handle those who suffer from mental illnesses.
“He’s been living with me, he’s been clean and sober, yes he relapsed. But he didn’t deserve this, he really didn’t deserve it,” said Woods.
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