Prosecutor: GR officer justified in shooting attacker

Victor Gonzales
Victor Gonzales' mug shot from the Kent County Correctional Facility. (March 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids officer who shot a stabbing suspect acted reasonably to protect a fellow officer, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office concluded Tuesday.

Michigan State Police say Victor Gonzales, 20, had pulled an officer down a set of stairs and had positioned himself on top of the officer when Officer Timothy Orent shot Gonzales three times.

The March 11 shooting happened two days after police said Gonzales repeatedly stabbed a woman during a carjacking attempt outside the Meijer on Alpine Avenue in Walker.

Surveillance images show a person of interest in a stabbing outside the Walker Meijer on March 9, 2017. (Walker Police Department)

Michigan State Police said Gonzales had duct taped the woman’s wrists and threatened to kill her if she screamed. He then stabbed her numerous times with a knife when she tried to escape.

MSP said Gonzalez also attacked a good Samaritan with a hammer when he came to the woman’s rescue.

Grand Rapids police were alerted to Gonzales the morning of March 11. Two officers found him sitting at the Steel Cat Bar, but he ran when they tried to arrest him, according to MSP. One of the officers fired a stun gun at Gonzales, but it had no effect, MSP said in their report.

Police eventually cornered Gonzales in the crawl space of another building, the report states. MSP said officers repeatedly told Gonzales to come out with his hands up, but Gonzales tried to escape out a basement door, which Orent and Officer Glen Brower were guarding.

A K-9 went for Gonzalez’s leg, MSP said. Brower ordered Gonzales to the ground; instead, the suspect grabbed the back of Brower’s uniform and pulled him down the stairs, where he climbed on top of him, according to the report.

Grand Rapids Police surround the area of Bridge Street and Seward Avenue (March 11, 2017)

Orent fired at Gonzales, hitting him in the lower back and both arms, state police said. Gonzales “continued to actively resist” after being shot, the report stated.

Based on the findings, Ingham County Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Dewane concluded Orent was justified in shooting Gonzales and would not face charges.

Gonzales is out of the hospital and in the Kent County jail. He’s scheduled to go to trial on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful imprisonment and carjacking.