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Tonight We Lost a Hero': Michigan Trooper, Army Vet Dies After Being Shot During Traffic Stop


"Senseless incident."

A Michigan State Police trooper conducting a traffic stop was shot in the head Monday and died during emergency surgery.

Paul Butterfield In this Aug. 8, 2011 photo released by the Michigan State Police, Trooper Paul Butterfield of the Hart post is shown. Butterfield was fatally shot in Mason County on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.  (AP/Michigan State Police)

According to a release from the state police, Paul Butterfield II of the Hart Post, who was an Army veteran, stopped a vehicle at 6:20 p.m. in Mason County. Three minutes later there was a 911 call from another motorist who saw Butterfield lying on the ground.

Butterfield was airlifted to a local hospital but he died during surgery.

"Tonight we lost a hero. The entire MSP family, as well as our greater law enforcement family, mourns alongside the Butterfields," Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said in a statement. "Trooper Butterfield's sacrifice will never be forgotten; may he rest in peace."

Based on information Butterfield had reported to dispatch before he was shot during the stop, troopers were able to locate the shooting suspects at a gas station in Manistee County several hours later. When the suspects were approached, a man pointed a handgun at another trooper.

The trooper fired and hit the male suspect, who was then taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A female suspect was taken into custody as well.

“This senseless incident is a grim reminder that our brave public safety officers put their lives on the line every day when they go to work protecting Michiganders. They are heroes," Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement.

“Our hearts break when a Michigan State Police trooper, or any of our other police officers or firefighters, is killed in the line of duty. Their loss is unquestionably felt by their families as well as the communities they serve and our entire state. We realize the extraordinary difficulty of their jobs and the sacrifices they make for us," Snyder said.

An investigation is being conducted into the altercation that led to Butterfield's death. Here is footage courtesy of WXMI-TV of a press conference held Tuesday morning with some of the latest, but still limited, information in the investigation:




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