Audio from Dispatch (Must be Downloaded First)
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and Chief Jeff Hadley have completed an investigation and review of the officer involved shooting of Chad Harris, which occurred on March 29, 2011 at 1825 Greenlawn Avenue.
On March 29th, at approximately 3:48 p.m., Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers responded to 1825 Greenlawn after Public Safety dispatch received a 911 call from a man who was subsequently determined to be Chad Harris. During the call, among other statements, Harris told a dispatcher, “I got a hostage here… I’m going to slit her throat.” Harris went on to state, “And you know what? The first PSO that shows up on our scene is dead too.”
Since 2003, Kalamazoo Public Safety has responded to calls for service at 1825 Greenlawn approximately 82 times. Many of the calls involved family disturbances or threats of suicide.
Responding to the March 29th call, PSO’s Steve Heyduck, David Moran, Derek Weldon, Daniel Frazier and Brian Cake arrived and attempted to make contact with persons in the residence. The officers knocked at the front and side door of the residence several times without receiving a response. Eventually, Kathleen Wolf, Chad Harris’ mother and owner of the residence, answered the front door. Officers noted that Wolf was visibly shaking and appeared frightened. Wolf told officers that a knife had been held to her throat. Officers asked Wolf if anyone else was still inside the home and she nodded her head in an affirmative response. The officers ushered Wolf safely from the residence.
Officers Heyduck and Moran believed that another family member was inside the home with Mr. Harris. The officers believed that person was in danger based on their prior knowledge of the residence and residents, as well as their contact with Kathleen Wolf.
The officers entered the residence and discovered Chad Harris seated on a couch with a knife in his hand. He appeared more distressed than they had seen him in the past. When the officers attempted to approach, Harris made threatening statements to the effect that if they came any closer he would cut their throats or stab them. Officers told Harris to drop the knife several times and he refused their lawful commands.
Officers Heyduck and Cake attempted to subdue Mr. Harris by deploying Tasers. The Taser had no apparent effect on Mr. Harris and he raised his knife and advanced toward Officer Cake.
In response to the life threatening assault on Officer Cake, Officers Moran and Heyduck fired department issued firearms in order to stop the advancing Chad Harris. Officer Moran fired a shotgun and Officer Heyduck a handgun.
An investigation of this incident was completed by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) and a separate investigation was completed by the Office of Professional Standards (OPS). In addition to the investigations completed by the CID and OPS, Chief Jeff Hadley requested that the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office review this incident and render an opinion as to the justification of force used.
On May 2, 2011 Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Fink, in a letter to Chief Jeff Hadley, issued his findings. Prosecutor Fink wrote, “After reviewing the evidence, I find at the time of the incident, the involved Public Safety Officers were acting in the lawful performance of their duties. I further find that the shooting of Chad Harris was justified, as there was an honest and reasonable belief of imminent danger or great bodily harm.”
In concurrence with the findings of Prosecutor Fink, Chief Hadley determined that the force used Officers Heyduck and Moran on March 29, 2011, was appropriate. Chief Jeff Hadley found that Officers Heyduck and Moran acted lawfully and in compliance with Kalamazoo Public Safety policy. Chief Jeff Hadley concluded that Officers Heyduck and Moran were completely justified in their use of force.
Kalamazoo Public Safety will have no other comment regarding this incident. An audio recording of the 911 call that Chad Harris made to Public Safety on March 29, 2011 will be posted on our web-site at http://prod.kalamazoopublicsafety.com/stay-informed/kdps-blog/greenlawn.html
By authority of: Chief Jeff Hadley