Chief identifies Wyoming officer shot Thursday

Officer Frank Hartuniewicz.


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) – Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody has identified the officer who was shot while responding to a domestic dispute Thursday afternoon on the east side of the city.

Officer Frank Hartuniewicz, a 15-year veteran of the department, is home and resting comfortably, Carmody said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody addresses the media on Jan. 30, 2015.
Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody

The suspect in Hartuniewicz’s shooting, who has been identified as 31-year-old Al James by family and friends, remains at the hospital in critical condition. He was shot in the chest after he shot the officer, police said.

Police have not yet confirmed James as the suspect, because he has not yet been formally charged and arraigned, Carmody said.

Following the shooting Thursday afternoon, multiple witnesses told 24 Hour News 8 they thought they had heard a large number of shots fired at the scene. However, Carmody later said the number was believed to be much lower – more like “several shots.”

Friday, Carmody said it will be “very difficult” for investigators to determine the exact number of shots that were fired because some of them were fired when James was not visible to police at the scene.

An undated photo of Al James. (Courtesy Facebook)
An undated photo of Al James. (Courtesy Facebook)

Police have confiscated several weapons from the incident, but they are not releasing details about those weapons. Carmody did said he didn’t believe the gun James was carrying at the time he was shot was an automatic.

“Frank is a quite guy, he’s not the kind who jumps out in a crowd. By all appearance he is quiet unassuming very nice gentleman,” Ken Bergwerff, a friend of Hartuniewicz.

Bergwerff is the Jamestown Township supervisor and met Hartuniewicz a few years ago. He says Hartuniewicz attends most of their meetings and stops into his office often to chat. Beyond protecting and serving the City of Wyoming, officer Hartuniewicz also serves the community he lives in by sitting on the township’s fire commission.

“I’m deeply grateful for what you do for our community and Frank I’m so thankful God spared your life and I’m looking forward to seeing what God is doing with the rest of your life, your a neat guy,” Bergwerff said.

Carmody also read a statement released by Hartuniewicz’s family:

“As a family, we appreciate the many thoughts, prayers and kind words we have received over the past 24 hours. This has been an extremely challenging time, and we are so grateful for the tremendous support of our community. We also want to recognize the many officers and departments who immediately came to the aid of Wyoming Public Safety yesterday.

It has been my honor to have served as an officer for the City of Wyoming for the past 15 years, and I look forward to returning to duty when I am able.

We appreciate the media’s sensitivity at this time and ask they continue to respect our privacy.”

 

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