Chief: Officer Koenig recovering at home following shooting

Saginaw Township Police Officer Jeff Koenig
Saginaw Township Police Officer Jeff Koenig(Saginaw Township Police Department)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2019 at 9:57 AM EST
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SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNEM) - Saginaw Township Police Officer Jeff Koenig has been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home after being shot on Jan. 22.

Koenig was performing a traffic stop about 2 a.m. on Tittabawassee Road near Bay Road in Kochville Township when he was shot in the jaw and the right shoulder area.

“When he approached the vehicle the suspect immediately fired several rounds at him, striking him,” Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole said.

Joshua Rosebush, 29, of Vassar, is accused of shooting Koenig.

“Oh, it’s just sickening. It’s just terrible to have that phone call during the middle of the night knowing that one of your officers was gravely wounded,” Saginaw Township Police Chief Donald Pussehl said.

After the shooting, the suspect left the scene, sparking a manhunt that spanned several counties.

Koenig, a 16-year veteran of the Saginaw Township Police Department, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Police said his condition stabilized about 4:30 a.m. that day.

Koenig was transferred to the University of Michigan hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries.

“Initially we didn’t know which way it was going to go,” Pussehl said.

Pussehl said doctors want Koenig to focus on recovery.

Koenig has since been released from the hospital and has a long road to recovery, Pussehl said on Feb. 5.

“He’s still in quite a bit of pain and having difficulty sleeping at times. And this whole incident, as you can imagine, has been very overwhelming to him as he works through this process,” Pussehl said.

Pussehl said Koenig is asking for privacy and for no visitors while he recovers. He will need additional surgeries.

Koenig’s jaw is still wired shut, but he is aware of what happened to him, Pussehl said.

He said it could be months before Koenig is ready to have reconstructive surgery on his jaw.

Pussehl said Koenig’s family can’t thank everyone enough for their well wishes and good deeds.

“From what my officers tell me, speaking with his mother, she’s very, very appreciative for the support that has been shown to her son in his time of need and then also to the family,” Pussehl said.

Saginaw County said it will handle the prosecution of the entire case.

The manhunt for suspect Rosebush

Shortly after the shooting, law enforcement officers found a truck, believed to have been the one Rosebush was in at the time of the shooting, in the area of Liberty Road in Kochville Township. Kaiser said the truck was stolen from Saginaw County and then left on Liberty Road between Michigan Avenue and Davis Road.

Michigan State Police confirm the suspect wanted for shooting a Saginaw Township police officer early Tuesday morning is in custody.

Police said Rosebush then stole another vehicle and dumped it in Flint at the Home Depot on Corunna Road. That vehicle was a stolen, white, 2013 Ford F-250 Super duty, with license plate DB60703.

“First, our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer and his family.  We are glad law enforcement was able to apprehend the suspect,” said David Riccius, CFO of AIS Construction Equipment Corporation.”Second, the minute AIS learned of the unfortunate incident with the officer and our stolen truck, we offered full cooperation including taking our entire fleet of trucks off the road in order to assist law enforcement in identifying and capturing the suspect.”

Investigators spotted Rosebush in another stolen vehicle about 1 p.m. on I-69 in Shiawassee County.

Michigan State Police said Rosebush stopped his vehicle, got out, assumed a shooting stance, and pointed a gun at a detective, prompting the detective to fire. That’s when Rosebush was shot in the jaw, and police were able to take him into custody.

“To know that he took the courageous steps to overcome and stop him before he could hurt someone else, it’s a great feeling,” BeGole said.

BeGole said there was a short chase before Rosebush was taken into custody, and he was caught in the middle of the street.

No officers were hurt.

“We are thankful officers were able to get him off the streets and no one else was hurt,” BeGole said.

The Shiawassee County detective is on paid leave after the traumatic conclusion.

The Shiawassee County Sheriff’s detective who shot Rosebush is on paid leave.

“You’re talking about a 30-year deputy who is now a detective and one of the finest in this department,” BeGole said.

That detective is being called a hero by the community and law enforcement.

“If I could speak about the pride that I have as a sheriff for the actions he took,” BeGole said.

The officer has since been identified as Det. Lt. Scott Shenk.

BeGole said the detective was trailing the suspect when Rosebush pulled into a driveway and got out of the vehicle he was driving. The detective was alone and still waiting for backup.

“If you get in a circumstance like this you can play it back-and-forth in your mind all day, but until it happens one might not know how you’re going to react. You have to rely on your training and that’s what that detective did that day,” BeGole said.

BeGole said Shenk is anxious to return to work.

“Very appreciative of how he’s been treated, almost like a hero in Shiawassee County. Because he showed such courageous bravery in apprehending him,” BeGole said.

BeGole said Shenk should be back on duty soon.

On Feb. 14, Saginaw County Prosecutor John McColgan ruled Shenk was justified in his use of deadly force against Rosebush.

Rosebush has been released from the hospital and is in prison. He was arraigned on 26 felony charges on Feb. 5.

Investigators initially believed someone gave Rosebush a ride to Genesee County while the manhunt was underway. Now they are saying that did not happen and he acted alone.

Gun used in shooting was stolen

The gun police confiscated from Rosebush was stolen in Clare County, Kaiser said.

The gun was in a dark-colored Suburban that was stolen from a store in Farwell at 6 p.m. on Jan. 4., according to the Clare County undersheriff. He said a man went into the store and left his vehicle running and unlocked.

That vehicle was recovered in Flint Township on Jan. 8.

Rosebush has a lengthy criminal history

The 29-year-old has several prior convictions including multiple incidents of assaulting an officer.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Rosebush has a history of assaulting or obstructing a public officer, among other things. He has been in and out of the criminal justice system since he was a teenager.

Rosebush absconded from his parole in early January.

He was charged with three counts of breaking and entering in 2006.

In 2012 and 2016, he was charged with resisting or assaulting an officer.

Rosebush also has multiple charges when it comes to breaking into cars and stealing credit cards.

Vassar police said Rosebush was a suspect in a string of 10 vehicle break-ins earlier this month. They began looking for him during the investigation of two vehicle thefts, saying he had removed his tether.

Chief Don Pussehl said this may have been the first time an officer in his department was shot during a traffic stop. It is the first since he has been with the department, which has been about 15 years.

If you have any information that can help the investigation, call 911 or 855-MICH-TIP.

Koenig’s friends share memories, support

Friends of a local officer shot in the line of duty are praying for his full recovery.

Saginaw County Treasurer Tim Novak has known Koenig for a long time. They are both alumni from the class of 1989 at Nouvel Catholic High School.

“He’s got a million-dollar smile. Always nice to everybody,” Novak said. “The one thing about Jeff is he’d drop anything for you.”

Novak said the incident gives him chills.

“Even in the situation he was in after being shot and the damage that was done, he’s able to make a phone call, radio it in, and give a description of the person and the vehicle,” Novak said.

He is thankful Koenig is alive and the man accused of shooting him was captured.

Novak is praying Koenig makes a full recovery and so is the Nouvel Catholic High School community.

“We organized a mass today that highlighted a prayer service at the end of the mass for Officer Koenig and his family,” Principal Mark Frost said. “Our kids are very aware he’s one of our alumni. It really hit home.”

The students of Nouvel hosted a jean day fundraiser for Koenig where they had the opportunity to dress more casually while helping Koenig’s family during his recovery.

“My heart just sank. I’ve known him for a very long time,” said Amy Kerby, Koenig’s friend. “He always had such a great sense of humor. He always looked out for other people. He’s probably one of the best cops that I’ve ever met.”

Kerby said she was relieved when police captured Rosebush.

“It was very quick. And everybody was on top of it. They did a really good job,” Kerby said.

Kerby plans to see Koenig in the hospital. She said she was going to tell him the community is supporting him.

“We’re all here. We’re all pulling for you right now. You have such a big support system. Everybody is praying for you. And we all want to see you pull through this,” Kerby said.

First responders raise money for Koenig

A Mid-Michigan police officer was shot in the line of duty. Now his fellow first responders are raising money to help him out.

A fundraiser has been set up to help Officer Koenig.

“Jeff is a nice guy. He’s got one heck of a sense of humor,” said Greg Kennedy, an instructor at the Saginaw Township Fire Department.

Kennedy hopes that spirit helps Koenig fight through his injuries.

Kennedy said the first responders in Saginaw Township are a close-knit group. So the news of Koenig hit close to home.

“Jeff getting shot is like a brother getting shot,” he said.

After receiving the news, Kennedy sat down with other firefighters to figure out how they could help.

“Next thing I know, we’re putting together a Facebook page to get some money for him,” Kennedy said.

The Facebook fundraiser took off, garnering more than $50,000 in donations in just a few hours.

Kennedy said he is overwhelmed and overjoyed by the community’s response.

“I’ve got people calling my phone that I’ve never talked to before asking me what they can do to help out. Food is being dropped off at the police station for the other fellow officers that are having a hard time with this,” Kennedy said.

Despite wearing a different uniform and driving a different emergency vehicle, Kennedy wants Koenig to know the Saginaw Township Fire Department won’t let him face this fight alone.

“We’ve got your back. We’ll take it from here and we’ll help you through this,” Kennedy said.

Businesses collect funds for Koenig

A number of people and businesses are doing their part to give back to a man who has served his community for so many years.

The BlendingBowl in Saginaw donated 50 percent of its proceeds on Wednesday, Jan. 23 to the fund.

“I really felt that the community needed to support this individual because that’s a pretty horrific experience. Especially in our town. It shouldn’t even happen,” said Amberlyn Hales, owner of the BlendingBowl. “I feel like that’s what a community is. Communities work together to do things and if I’m going to be a part of the community I should act as if I’m part of the community.”

Hales also gave free meals to all law enforcement as well.

Saginaw Police K9 Handler Bradley Holp stopped by the store. He said he appreciates what is happening here.

“There’s going to be a lot of medical bills that Officer Koenig has to take care of that maybe insurance isn’t going to pick up on, you know. Drives to the hospital from his family, staying overnight, all that stuff insurance doesn’t pick up. So the outpouring of support from the community is awesome,” Holp said.

Other businesses are doing their part to help as well

“The majority of us really do love and respect and care for them. This is just a very small thing, but if it lets them know and brightens their day, fantastic,” said Rebecca Clifford, owner of Rebecca’s Gourmet Bakery.

The Baywood Lounge on Bay Road in Saginaw held a benefit on Jan. 25. Ten percent of the proceeds went to Officer Koenig and his loved ones.

Shirts, Mugs & More on Center Avenue in Bay County are selling “Koenig Strong” shirts. 

Grand Central Sports Bar and Grill will hold a benefit on Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Saginaw Township bar showing support for Koenig with fundraiser and raffle

The community is working hard to make the best of Officer Koenig’s eventual return home.

Across Saginaw, you’ll see the signs of a community pulling together for him.

The 16-year veteran of the Saginaw Township Police Department was shot during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning and is now receiving treatment at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor.

But back at home, the community is raising money for him and his family like at the Baywood Lounge. They’re holding a special raffle and donation in his honor.

The staff said 10 percent of all proceeds from Friday, Jan. 25 are going to the Koenig family as well.

“Just the fact that the expense driving back and forth to Ann Arbor and hotel rooms and you know what’s going to come up in the future,” said Mary Lou Houlihan, the owner of Baywood Lounge.

Houlihan said after hearing about the shooting, she wanted to help out Officer Koenig in some way.

So she decided to donate a portion of the day’s proceeds towards his family, inviting both the public and police to come out as well.

Former officers, like Don Koski, who worked with Koenig throughout his career said this type of support means more to them than anything.

“It shows that the community is backing us and we feel really good about that and we thank them,” Koski said.