Grand Rapids Cop Free on Bond After Murder Charge in Patrick Lyoya Shooting

June 11, 2022, 7:18 AM

Friday's video arraignment

Update: Police Officer Christopher Schurr of Grand Rapids, arraigned Friday afternoon on a second-degree murder charge in the traffic stop death of Patrick Lyoya, posted bond and walked out of the Calhoun County Jail.

He's due back in court June 21 for a probable cause hearing and a week later for a preliminary examination, WXYZ reports.

The 31-year-old defendant surrendered after being charged Thursday.

"He did everything he was required to do per department policy," defense attorney Matt Borgula of Grand Rapids tells The Detroit News

"Before lethal force was used, he took several steps, to the point where he was exhausted and felt that he was in danger of lethal harm himself before he decided to pull his weapon," Borgula said.

Original article, June 9:

The Grand Rapids police officer who fatally shot motorist Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop April 4 is charged with second-degree murder.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced the charge against officer Christopher Schurr Thursday afternoon. Schurr has turned himself in and is due for arraignment Friday. If convicted, he'd face up to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Christopher Schurr and Patrick Lyoya

Lyoya, a 26-year-old immigrant from Central Africa, was killed about three minutes after a traffic stop. Schurr, who joined the force in 2015 and is 31 now, tackled the driver when he ran and then fired into the back of his head during a brief tussle, videotaped by Lyoya's passenger. 

He had been on paid administrative leave while Michigan State Police investigated the shooting. 

An attorney for Lyoya's family, Ben Crump of Tallahassee, says he's "encouraged" by the prosecutor's decision. "While the road to justice for Patrick and his family has just begun," he adds in a statement emailed to Deadline Detroit, "this decision is a crucial step in the right direction. Officer Schurr must be held accountable."

Retired Detroit homicide detective Ira Todd is among critics who thought Schurr should not have chased the driver.

"This is a traffic stop for some minor violation, a misdemeanor," Todd told Deadline Detroit in April. "If he took off running on me, I would have gotten on the radio, 'hey, we got a guy running,' gave his description out, and I'd have gotten a tow truck and had that car towed from that location."

Then he'd have gotten a "non-custody warrant for a number of things, and then this guy would still be alive."

Leave a Comment: