By PoliceOne Staff
EATON COUNTY, Mich. — Recently released dash cam footage shows Michigan law enforcement officers fatally shooting a man who drove at them with a pickup truck.
The Lansing State Journal reports that on Nov. 28, an Eaton County detective and deputy were attempting to serve warrants for Robert Claude Smith’s arrest and a search of the property when they spotted him fleeing in a truck. Officers pursued Smith, 64, before the suspect drove at two stopped police vehicles.
Smith is seen on video smashing into a patrol vehicle, forcing it into the detective’s vehicle as the deputy fired at the truck. The detective, who was behind his vehicle, was knocked to the ground from the impact of the collision.
The officers fired eight rounds at Smith, who died of a gunshot wound to the head. The suspect was later found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.19 at the time of his death.
Officials said the warrants stemmed from a Nov. 26 arrest for DUI. During that encounter, officers found a gun on Smith, who was not allowed to possess a firearm because he was a convicted felon.
Smith reportedly told officers in the DUI arrest that he “would not be afraid to commit gun violence, and that he had nothing to lose,” according to a news release. Smith did not have a gun when he was fatally shot.
Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said the officers didn’t know whether Smith was armed or not at the time of the shooting.
“They were aware of his very recent possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, and that a search warrant had been issued for his residence to search for additional firearms and ammunition.”
A prosecutor reviewed the case earlier this month and found the officers justified in the shooting.