Benton Harbor mayor: Family wants peaceful streets after police shoot, kill man

Benton Harbor mayor Marcus Muhammad says the family of the man shot and killed by a police officer early Tuesday wants everyone to remain peaceful.

BENTON HARBOR, MICH. - Benton Harbor mayor Marcus Muhammad says the family of the man shot and killed by a police officer early Tuesday wants everyone to remain peaceful.

But, however, he understands there is anger in the community.

City and area clergy leaders Tuesday, Oct. 18, have been in the neighborhood of Pavone Street and Empire Avenue for most of the day and will continue so later tonight. This comes after a 28-year-old man, who family identify as Darius Wimberly, was killed by a Benton Harbor officer.

MORE: Body cam footage of Benton Harbor fatal shooting wanted; 'Soon,' police say

Police were called to a home in the area on a report of a man being held at gun point by another man inside around 2:15 a.m., said Benton Harbor Police director Daniel McGinnis during an earlier briefing.

Once on scene, officers cautiously approached a home matching the caller's description. Police then made contact with the residents. They were cooperative and let police inside to look around. They also told them no one inside contacted them.

After finding no signs of trouble, the officers left.

Moments later, police were walking outside when a man on the street opened fire on them. An early investigation shows perhaps four or five shorts were fired toward the home, with officers in the area, McGinnis said. 

It's not clear whether officers or the home's occupants were the intended targets, but McGinnis said police don't believe the officers were ambushed.

Additional shots were fired before one male officer returned fire and hit the suspect. Michigan State Police Lt. Chuck Christensen confirmed the officer, armed with a high-powered rifle, fired around 15 shots toward the suspect.

The suspect was found with two handguns on his person.

Wimberly was taken to Lakeland Hospital, where he later died.

At least one bystander crossing the street was pulled away by an officer and taken to safety.

No officers were injured. The officer who shot the suspect has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, which is department policy, McGinnis said.

Police have not yet released his name, however, he's a month away from a one-year anniversary with the department prior to servicing as a firefighter and EMT personnel. 

Three of the four police officers were wearing body cameras, and video from those devices will be released after family has an opportunity to view it first, McGinnis said.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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