Ex-Mattawan officer charged in shooting that wounded suspect

chelsey omilian
A September 2017 photo of Officer Chelsey Omilian. (Mattawan Police Department/Facebook)

MATTAWAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Mattawan police officer is facing a misdemeanor charge for firing her gun, injuring a female suspect.

Chelsey Omilian appeared in Van Buren County District Court Friday where she was charged with one misdemeanor count of reckless use of a firearm in connection to the Nov. 3 shooting near Main Street and W. McGillen Avenue.

In a Friday news release about the officer-involved shooting, the prosecutor’s office did not identify the officer. However, the office said she turned herself in to the court Friday afternoon and was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Michigan State Police Lt. Chuck Christensen said three suspects were riding in a stolen car when then-Officer Omilian stopped the vehicle at a Shell station in Mattawan. Christensen said the vehicle was moving when Omilian fired five rounds at the car. One female suspect was wounded and taken to the hospital.

Mattawan Police Chief Scott Herbert declined to comment about the case on camera, but issued a brief statement which said in part: “The investigating officer felt the suspect driving the vehicle was attempting to run her over, and she opened fire on the vehicle to stop the threat.”

The driver left the scene, turning onto a dead-end street and driving between two houses before crashing into a fence, ditching the vehicle and running, according to MSP. He and the remaining female suspect were arrested after a short search of the area, troopers said.

Christensen said Friday he couldn’t discuss why Omilian was charged.

“I really can’t because that’s a decision the prosecutor makes. That’s not really our decision. Whenever we investigate one of these (officer-involved shootings), we collect the facts, we provide it to the prosecutor, and then whatever the prosecutor’s decision is, we support,” he explained.

Christensen tells 24 Hour News 8 Omilian is no longer a member of the Mattawan Police Department. It’s unclear whether she was fired or resigned.

Omilian was previously hired by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety in 2016, according to that agency’s website. A Facebook post by the Mattawan Police Department indicated Omilian joined their force in September. That post appears to have since been removed from the agency’s page.

“It’s like when we do any investigation. We don’t want to see anybody lose their job, or have a bad experience in life. But the fact is, those things happen. And when we do an investigation, we’re going to do an impartial investigation and do it as best as we can,” said Christensen.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Omilian faces up to 90 days in jail and a possible fine of $500.

The prosecutor’s office says the driver of the stolen vehicle, Gary Lynne Kingsbury, is charged with two felonies: unlawful use of a vehicle and resisting and obstructing. He remains in the Van Buren County Jail.