19-year-old Koddy Zachary Campbell died yesterday following Sunday’s shoot-out with police in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The victim, who is described as suffering from suicidal depression, was killed by a gunshot. It is currently unclear whether the shot that killed him was fired by police or discharged when Campbell turned the gun on himself at the time of the incident. An investigative autopsy into the matter is being conducted today.
Mr. Campbell’s family members called police on Sunday morning after discovering that their pistol was missing. They told police that they were concerned that Mr. Campbell had the firearm and was behaving erratically. During these calls, they mentioned that he may be suicidal.
Campell himself called the police several times afterward, giving them several locations where police could find him. He said he wanted to commit “suicide by cop.”
The victim was eventually found near the Calhoun County Jail and police department. There was a standoff where police fired several shots at Campbell and he also turned the gun he was wielding on himself.
Battle Creek Police Chief Jim blocker told reporters at a briefing on Sunday afternoon that “officers were able to locate him and he removed a handgun from his waist. The officers gave him loud and clear commands to drop the weapon and he did not. It was a handgun. Shots were fired by officers and by Campbell.”
The only person shot on the scene was Mr. Campbell. He died at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital while receiving treatment for his injuries.
Chief Blocker has described the event as “tragic” and explained that the incident was “very stressful” for the officers involved. According to witnesses at the scene, only minutes passed between initial contact with Mr. Campbell and the gunfire.
There is apparently a dash cam video of the full incident which has not yet been made available to the public. Family members of the victim are requesting access to the video to soothe their grief and doubts over what happened.
Though in the months leading up to the incident, family members thought Mr. Campbell was emotionally stable, he had suffered from severe depression for many years and was previously institutionalized to recover from depressive crises.
Campbell’s sister-in-law told Wood TV that the knowledge that Mr. Campbell was suicidal should have informed the police approach to the issue. “The cops should have talked him down,” she said. “Knowing that he was going through issues, knowing that he was suicidal, they needed to be able to talk him down and they couldn’t even do that.”
The Law Offices of Michael S Lamonsoff has experience in cases of suicide by cop. The highly publicized case of Glenn Broadnax was handled by our firm. As our principal attorney, Michael Lamonsoff said at the time of that incident, “This is going to happen again and again until somebody takes a look at the training.”
If you have lost someone due to suicide by cop or misconduct and ineptitude on the part of the police, you may be entitled to compensation and justice for your loss. Call us today and tell us about your case. We will give you an absolutely free consultation to help you determine what your options are moving forward.
You can reach us 24-hours a day at (212) 962-1020.