State Police: Man killed by Eaton Co. Deputies did not open fire

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EATON CO., Mich. (WILX) -- Michigan State Police are investigating the death of an Eaton Rapids man who was killed by an Eaton County Sheriff's Deputy.

In the initial report investigators said there was an exchange of gunfire. Now Michigan State Police are reporting that the man who was killed did not open fire.

The man killed has been identified as Robert Claude Smith, 64, of Eaton Rapids.

Police say Smith was recently arrested by a DNR Officer for allegedly driving drunk. He was released, pending further investigation into a potential felony gun charge.

Two Eaton County Sheriff's Deputies went to execute a search warrant at Smith's home on Spicerville Highway Tuesday to recover firearms. However, Smith left before they could search the house. Police say Smith drove East On Spicerville, then turned south onto Wilcox Road, with deputies attempting to stop him. Smith then turned around on Boody and rammed the Deputies' vehicles. One deputy, who was standing outside the vehicle, was hit by his own car and suffered minor injuries.

Multiple shots were fired by both deputies, and Smith was killed. The Michigan State Police Department is continuing it's investigation, and will turn it over to the prosecutor's office for review when finished.

Police are not saying whether or not Smith had a gun on him during the incident.

Eaton Co. Sheriff Tom Reich released the following statement: "From preliminary information, there was a clear threat ot hte lives of my Deputies while they were attempting to arrest a felony suspect, and they responded to stop that threat. I support my Deputies and their response in protection of their lives. The Michigan State Police are conducting a thorough investigation of this incident and will present the results to the Prosecutor's Office for review."

News 10 is tracking this story and will have updates as they become available.



 
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