Dad identifies teen killed in officer-involved shooting
By Jessica Royce, James Felton & Kate Nadolski
Midland, Michigan (WNEM)/CNN) -- Newly released dispatch audio sheds light on the moments leading up to a deadly officer-involved shooting.
It 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.
"I heard snow crunching and I looked out our window, pulled the curtain back and I saw two guys trying to break into my car," the male 911 caller told TV5.
The couple spoke to TV5 anonymously. They did not want to be identified for safety reasons.
They said they thought about about confronting the suspects, but decided to call 911 instead.
When officers arrived, they said two men allegedly took off running.
"I heard the shots. I heard a police officer say 'stop running.' And I heard the gunshot. Then I heard the response to that," the male caller said.
During the foot chase, police said one of the men aimed and fired a gun at an officer. The officer returned fire, hitting the suspect.
"Shots fired! Shots fired! One down! Shots fired. I've got one down! Gun, right hand! Gun, right hand," the officer can be heard yelling in the audio file.
The suspect, Jaden Marsh, was pronounced dead at the scene. Jaden's father Todd Marsh confirmed to TV5 his son was killed in the incident.
"Horrible. Devastated," Todd Marsh said. "I'm going to miss the opportunity and the chances that he could've brought for change. He wanted to be a medic and a nurse, travel the world and be on the front lines helping people."
The officers were not injured, according to police.
"It came down to him protecting his own life," Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser said.
The second suspect was taken into custody for questioning, the department said. The teen is currently at the Midland Juvenile Care Center.
"In my head I was just like 'I can't believe this is happening.' This is not the outcome I wanted when I called police," the male 911 caller said.
Even though the couple who called 911 said the two teens didn't necessarily look dangerous while trying to break into their car, they said they are taking an important lesson with them.
"I'm sure some people would see two skinny teenagers out in their driveway and think, 'hey, what are you doing? Get out of here!' Maybe confront them and not knowing one of them had a gun," the woman caller said.
Both suspects are 16-years-old and from the Midland area, according to MSP.
The investigation has now been turned over to MSP.
Kaiser said the handgun the suspect used was just reported stolen to the Midland Police Department on Sunday. It was stolen from a vehicle parked at the Holiday Inn Express in Midland, Kaiser said.
"This firearm was secured in a small gun safe under the passenger seat of the vehicle and tethered to the frame of the driver’s seat. The suspect who stole the firearm, punched the lock on the gun safe and was able to gain access to the safe," the Midland Police Department said.
Police said that vehicle was unlocked and there were no signs of forced entry.
Kaiser also said Midland has had a rash of vehicle break-ins lately.
"Whenever an officer is involved in something like this it is a very tragic incident," Kaiser said.
According to the Midland Police Department, the officer involved in the shooting has 19 years of law enforcement experience. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
“Please keep your thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of the deceased subject as well as for the officer involved in this tragic event,” the police department said in a press release.
Ashman Street was closed between Sharon and Birchfield for several hours. It reopened just after 8:15 a.m.
As for Todd Marsh, he thought his son was on a good path, but he had trouble avoiding the wrong crowd.
"He was a super good skateboarder, scooter, extreme sports. And he spent a lot of time at the Midland Skate Park. And coming from California and different places all over the world where he's done those activities we thought that that would be a good, safe place for him. And unfortunately, there was some bad influences, some bad encounters," he said.
Marsh said he is not holding any hard feelings towards the officer involved.
"I know that the officer did not go out that day, that morning planning to shoot somebody," Marsh said.
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