Caledonia, MI – A Kent County sheriff’s deputy has been cleared of wrongdoing after he fatally shot the intoxicated suspect who shoved another deputy to the ground and pointed a .45-caliber handgun at her.
The incident began at approximately 4 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2019, after Kent County Sheriff’s Deputy James Davis and Deputy Elizabeth Donovan responded to multiple 911 calls regarding a disturbance at a home located at 4600 100th Street Southeast, MLive reported.
More than one of those calls came from the homeowner, 34-year-old Steven Saucier, who repeatedly demanded that police hurry up and get to his residence.
“You better tell them to get the f–k here!” Saucier repeatedly screamed at one point.
During the call, Saucier could be heard yelling at people to stay out of his home and threatening to “blow them out of it” if they came inside.
Other callers told the dispatcher that Saucier was “threatening to shoot someone,” and alleged that he had already assaulted three people, MLive reported.
At least one witness claimed that Saucier was beating people with a bat, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker explained during a press conference on Jan. 9.
During one of the 911 calls, the dispatcher asked Saucier if he was still armed with the bat.
“No! I never had a baseball bat!” he argued. “I got a goddamn firearm in my hand, and you better get the f–k here!”
The dispatcher repeatedly asked Saucier to put the gun down, but he refused.
When Deputy Donovan and Deputy Davis arrived, they shined a flashlight through the windows and knocked on the front door, motion-sensor-triggered security footage from inside the home showed.
Due to the information they had been provided during the multitude of 911 calls, Deputy Davis had armed himself with his shotgun, Becker noted.
Saucier’s wife, Megan, told her husband that the police were outside.
“Put the gun down,” she told him in the video. “Steven – put the gun down.”
But Saucier kept the gun in his hand as he threw the door open and shoved Deputy Donavan to the ground while screaming at the deputies to “get the f–k back,” the video showed.
“Steven! It’s the police!” Megan yelled. “Steven!”
Saucier was pointing his gun at Deputy Donovan as Deputy Davis ordered him to drop his weapon and fired one round.
Saucier was hit in the left side of his chest, killing him.
“I think you saved my life. Seriously,” Deputy Donovan told Deputy Davis after the shooting.
The suspect’s gun was fully loaded and the hammer was cocked back at the moment he was shot, Becker said.
Investigators later learned that Saucier had been drinking at multiple bars earlier in the night, and that he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22 percent at the time of the altercation, MLive reported.
“Alcohol played a significant role in what occurred here,” Becker said during the press conference.
“This is a justifiable shooting just in defense of others,” he noted.
Although investigators determined that Saucier had not assaulted the alleged victims prior to the deputies’ arrival, the suspect’s altercation with the deputies clearly created a substantial risk of injury or death.
Deputy Donovan and Deputy Davis were not injured during the altercation, and both have returned to duty, WOOD reported.
Saucier had no prior criminal record, Becker said.
“His wife said she’s never seen him like this,” and that she believed he went into some sort of “protection mode,” the prosecutor added.