Two Benton Harbor officers wounded, a suspect dead after overnight shooting
Neighbors woke up to gunfire shots, on Highland Avenue in Benton Harbor, after gunfire broke out between officers and a suspect.
Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety’s Sgt. Reginald Gee spotted this red car around 11:20 pm, Thursday, parked at a home between Withan and McCord streets.
It had been linked to this man - Dustin Levell Saffell.
“There were outstanding warrants for his arrest. A felony warrant for home evasion first-degree unlawful imprisonment out of our department. As well as, resisting arrest of fleeing and alluding 4th degree out of Michigan State Police," said Dan McGinnis, Director of Public Safety, Benton Harbor.
Authorities say Safell had already escape police twice this week even gloating on social media with videos showing off extended magazines for his handgun.
When Sgt. Gee saw the vehicle, he called for backup and then confronted Safell.
“Mr. Safell then exited the car immediately and started shooting at Sgt. Gee. Sgt. Gee returned fire ultimately striking Mr. Safell and ultimately killing him," said McGinnis.
Investigators say Safell fired fifteen rounds at officers all captured on bodycam footage.
You can see the moment Sgt. Gee was hit as he falls to the grass and crawls to safety. One bullet hit his leg his vest blocked another.
Officer Blake Kinzler tried to help, while Safell continued to shoot.
“He was shot three times. He was shot twice in his midsection which was caught by his belt and also he was shot in his leg," said McGinnis.
Both are on the mend expected to be okay. Even asking when they can come back to work.
Officer Kinzler’s already home after being treated for a superficial wound and Sgt. Gee remains in stable condition following surgery at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph.
“This is a life changing event for everyone involved on both sides so we want to make sure that coming out of the gate, we want to make sure our officers are at least getting back to normality as quickly as possible," said McGinnis.
Michigan State Police is handling the investigation.
It’s not clear when either officer will return to duty.