Teen in officer-involved shooting killed himself, father says - WNEM TV 5

Teen in officer-involved shooting killed himself, father says

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MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The father of a Mid-Michigan teen who died in an officer-involved shooting says his son died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Todd Marsh, the father of 16-year-old Jaden Marsh, told TV5 he and Jaden’s mother met with Michigan State Police Wednesday and were told his son died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

A press release from the Midland Police Department confirmed Jaden fired at least two rounds from the stolen handgun he was carrying. One round was recovered at the scene, the other was determined to be a self-inflicted fatal shot to the head.

The shooting happened about 1:39 a.m. Monday, March 12 on the 2000 block of E. Ashman Street in Midland.

The Midland Police Department said they were called to the area for reports of two people breaking into a vehicle. When officers arrived, they said two suspects allegedly took off running.

During the foot chase, police said Jaden aimed and fired a gun at an officer. The officer returned fire, hitting Jaden in the leg. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The second suspect, also a 16-year-old male, was taken into custody for questioning and then transferred to the Midland Juvenile Care Center.

Lt. Dave Kaiser said the gun Jaden used was recently reported stolen from a vehicle parked at the Holiday Inn Express in Midland.

Todd Marsh previously told TV5 his son wanted to end his life.

"The night before, Jaden Snapchatted with his older brother in California and said what he was going to do," Marsh said.

Marsh said he believes Jaden wasn't trying to hurt the officers. He thinks his son wanted police to kill him. Marsh said his son was diagnosed with severe depression and this was not the first time he tried to take his life.

"I already knew. Jaden wasn't trying to harm anybody. He was trying to end his pain," Marsh said.

>>Watch the entire interview with Marsh<<

Midland Police said the situation is still being actively investigated, and the department is coordinating with the Michigan State Police and the Midland County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

The Midland Police Department extended its "deepest condolences to all of those impacted by this tragic event."

Marsh hopes others who find themselves in a similar situation - struggling with suicidal thoughts - will get the help they need.

"I want people to know that there's help. I actually got a text message today from one of Jaden's friends who was desperate looking for help and the only thing I could do was call Barb and give her the number," Marsh said.

Marsh is referring to Barb Smith, who runs the Suicide Resource and Response Network in Saginaw. That is where Jaden received treatment up until his death.

She said his suffering is something many go through, but are often overlooked.

"We've done a lot with destigmatizing suicide and mental illness. We haven't been able to do a lot of change to make it easier in a system to access help. So, our goal and I promised Todd and his family that that is one voice that we're going to do on behalf of Jaden and all others who are struggling," Smith said.

Marsh is hoping his son's death will cause others to speak up.

"There's a stigma that comes along with talking about or asking for help, but it's not about me. It's about Jaden and people that are in pain," Marsh said.

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