Prosecutor Charges Michigan Police Office with Murder in Patrick Lyoya Shooting

Officer Christopher Schurr (Photo: Calhoun County Jail)

The Kent County, Michigan, prosecutor has filed second-degree murder charges against the officer who killed Patrick Lyoya.

Prosecutor Chris Becker announced the charges at a news conference Thursday in Grand Rapids after more than two months of investigation by his office and the Michigan State Police concerning the actions of Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr.

Grand Rapids Chief Eric Winstrom said he is recommending that Schurr be fired but also that Schurr is entitled to a hearing and the ultimate decision would be up to the city manager.

Schurr has been on leave since shooting Lyoya in the head after a traffic stop on April 4.

The family’s attorney Ven Johnson said even though there is some justice, there’s is still more to be done and you will not see any celebration on behalf of the family.

Patrick Lyoya’s father Peter said if they didn’t have the video and didn’t show the world what happened to his son Patrick we would not be here today. He said there would be no justice at all without the video.

Lyoya, 26, immigrated to the U.S. from Congo.

Video released by Grand Rapids Police showed Schurr struggling with Lyoya on April 4th during the traffic stop. The plate on the car Lyoya was driving did not match the vehicle.

The video shows a foot chase and struggle over Shurr’s Taser. During the fight, Schurr deployed his Taser twice with no effect and Lyoya allegedly tried grabbing for it. Schurr yelled multiple times to drop the Taser as he fought to gain control of Lyoya. Shurr was on top of Lyoya who was on the ground when Shurr pulled out his gun and fired it one time, hitting Loyola in the back of the head killing him instantly.

Schurr’s lawyers said he feared for his safety during a physical struggle.

Patrick Lyoya (Photo: Grand Rapids Police Dept.)