Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced Wednesday the fatal police shooting of a bank robbery suspect back in March was justified.
Leyton released both a press release and a detailed account of his investigation into what happened.
According to the press release, police were first dispatched the morning of March 23, 2018 to a robbery at the Chemical Bank on North Genesee Road in Genesee Township. Investigators say the dispatched officers were told the suspect, 40-year-old Kevin Hall of Flint, had a gun. Leyton added officers thought Hall was a danger to police and the public.
In the letter to investigators, Leyton said Hall's girlfriend told police Hall called her from a cell phone inside the van and told her he had just robbed a bank, had no reason to live and had a gun.
TV5 was there as police surrounded a van carrying Hall at the corner of Center and Richfield roads in Genesee County.
Leyton said there were three people inside the van when it was initially stopped by police. Two climbed out after orders from a Genesee Township officer as a Burton officer stood by. But police said Hall refused to leave the van and proceeded to tell officers he had a gun and reached for his waistband. As TV5 reported back in March, that's when police began evacuating people in the area.
Leyton said Hall tried to flee with the van, but a police cruiser blocked him. Officers then reported hearing what they thought was the racking of the slide on a gun.
Shortly afterward, police said the suspect opened the rear door of the van with a silver object in his hand and raised his arm toward officers. At that moment, Leyton said nine officers fired their weapons thinking Hall had a gun. Hall was shot by officers from the Flint Police Department and Michigan State Police.
Hall was shot and killed. Silver vice grip pliers were found next to him.
Leyton concluded, "Officers had information from the suspect, the suspect’s girlfriend as well as other officers that the suspect was armed; officers observed an object in his hand consistent with their belief that he was armed and the suspect himself told officers that he was going to end his life in a shootout with police to prevent his return to prison," he wrote. "We conclude that justifies their decision to use deadly force in this instance."
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