Police: Belding homicide may not be crime

The man killed in a shooting out of Belding was identified as Eric Harrington, 35. (Photo courtesy Facebook)


BELDING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Belding woman shot and killed the man she lived with Wednesday morning, but authorities say they’re not certain her actions constitute a crime.

Eric Harrington, 35, died at the scene following the 5 a.m. shooting at the home in the 1400 block of Oakwood Street in Belding. Police say the woman who shot him remained on scene and has cooperated in their investigation.

Courtesy photo of Eric Harrington, 35, who was killed by gunfire in Belding.
Courtesy photo of Eric Harrington, 35, who was killed by gunfire in Belding.

Neighbors who say they are used to the quiet life in Belding were surprised by the commotion in the subdivision.

“This is big news around here,” said Roy Tift, a lifelong Belding resident who lives near the scene of the shooting in his home of more than 60 years. “This is a very nice neighborhood. Things like that don’t happen.”

Wednesday afternoon, Belding Police Chief Dale Nelson announced that the Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office had decided not to issue charges pending further investigation into the case.

A key piece of the investigation that’s still missing is the results of an autopsy, which was expected to be conducted sometime Thursday.

One person was shot and killed at a home in Belding Wednesday morning, police said. (Oct. 21, 2015)
One person was shot and killed at a home in Belding Wednesday morning, police said. (Oct. 21, 2015)

Nelson encouraged the community not to worry.

“Belding, I’ll reiterate, is a safe community,” Nelson said. “This is an isolated incident.”

Investigators would not answer questions about whether they suspected the shooting was in self-defense or an accident when reporters inquired.

24 Hour News 8 has decided not to identify the shooter given the status of the case. The 21-year-old woman has no criminal background in Michigan records.

Harrington has a 2011 misdemeanor assault charge on his record. An ex-wife took out a personal protection order against him in 2009, saying at the time she feared he might hurt her or her new boyfriend.

Loved ones of the couple involved at the scene declined to comment Wednesday. One woman who said she was a close friend of the two involved said they were a happy couple.

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