Wyoming shooting suspect stabbed wife 5 years ago

An undated photo of Al James. (Courtesy Facebook)


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The domestic violence call that led to the shooting of a Wyoming police officer on Thursday wasn’t the first time police were sent to an assault between the suspect and his wife.

Alan James, now 31, stabbed his wife in the neck with a knife in December 2009 at their apartment in Walker, according to court records.

He was charged with felonious assault but later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after police said he did not intend to kill her or cause her great bodily harm. That led to 13 months probation. It’s the last time he’s faced criminal charges, state police records show.

While court records don’t show the seriousness of the injury, James’ brother, Kyle James, said the knife wound was superficial. He said the trouble, like all of his brother’s troubles, involved a combination of alcohol and anti-depressants.

Kyle James said he spoke with his brother the night before the police shooting.  While his brother was “overwhelmed” by life, he said he doesn’t believe the shooting was “suicide by police,” as some have suggested.

He said his brother’s wife had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, he said, kept him from his job at General Die & Engineering, 6500 Clay Ave. SW.

His brother told him he was angry with himself because he had recently started drinking again, after six years without alcohol, and was on a new anti-depressant medication. He wanted to leave the city, he told his brother, and move up north.

During a Friday press conference held by the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, Police Chief James Carmody said James and his wife where drinking the day of the shooting.

“He didn’t snap,” he said.  “He was freaking out. He went into bug-out mode. His world was falling apart.”

Kyle James also posted comments on woodtv.com about his brother. He said the shooting was not in his character.

“Everybody has a breaking point,” Kyle James wrote. “It’s very unfortunate that others got hurt today. My thoughts and prayers go out to the officer and anyone caught in the crossfire.”

His brother has a 10-year-old son with a first wife.

“And he’ll likely never see his son again,” Kyle James wrote. “At least not for a very long time. His son thought the world of him and now his life will be forever changed. It’s heartbreaking.”

Police on Friday said Alan James was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest. His brother said his family is frustrated because police won’t tell them where he is.

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