Family: MSP detective recovering after ‘horrifying’ shooting

Francisco Road, Arbogast Road, Union Township, MSP troopers shot
The scene along Francisco Road hours after the shooting. (Jan. 24, 2018)

UNION CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of a Michigan State Police detective shot while executing a search warrant Wednesday says he is recovering from the “horrifying incident.”

The family of Det. Sgt. Aaron Steensma issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“We would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone for your outpouring of support. Not only from the Michigan State Police and but also from surrounding police, fire and EMS agencies as well as friends and surrounding communities. We would like to give a special thanks to the personnel who helped take care of Aaron on the scene and help get him to safety, as well as all of the medical personnel who have provided excellent treatment and care for Aaron in his time of need.

“Aaron is a family oriented guy and very involved in the community. He loves being involved with his children at their sporting events and he will be greatly missed while he continues to recover from this horrifying incident. It’s something we knew could happen at any time but there is no way to prepare yourself for it when it does occur. He loves his job and we are all very proud of his accomplishments while working with the Michigan State Police. Please continue to keep Aaron and our family in your thoughts and prayers as well as all of the emergency responders out protecting and serving.”

The Steensma family also says “friends within the department” have set up an online donation page for their loved one, who was last listed in serious but stable condition at Borgess Medical Center, after undergoing surgery.

Steensma and Trooper Daniel Thayer were with four other troopers when they were shot Wednesday.

MSP says the shooting suspect, whom they identified Thursday as 62-year-old David Kidney of Union City, told the officers he was armed as they approached the back door of his home, located in the 500 block of Francisco Road in Union City.

State police say the officers pulled back and set up a perimeter before Kidney came out shooting. The troopers returned fire, killing Kidney with one shot, according to MSP Lt. Dale Hinz.

Steensma was shot in the clavicle and Thayer was hit in the chest, but his bullet-resistant vest protected him from the blast. Thayer also suffered a grazing wound to the hand.

The troopers were at Kidney’s home serving a warrant in connection to a cold case investigation of the May 2009 murder of Duane Finney.

Finney was found shot to death in a car in a field north of the Skate Ranch in Coldwater. Last year, MSP and the Branch County Sheriff’s Department announced they were reopening the unsolved murder.

MSP Lt. Chuck Christensen said at the time, his office had a person of interest, but wouldn’t elaborate. Thursday, 24 Hour News 8 asked state police whether that person was Kidney.

“The cold cases that we’re working on are still going on,” explained Hinz. “Just because of the developments of yesterday, those cases are not closed and so it would be premature for me to get into the details of those cold cases that we’re investigating currently.”

Online property records show Kidney and Finney were once next-door neighbors in Coldwater. The only conviction Kidney has is from 1995, when he was found guilty of receiving stolen property.

The 2009 cold case murder is the only unsolved homicide case in Branch County.

**CORRECTION: A previous version of this story named the suspect as David Kinney, which was incorrect. It has been updated to correctly identify him as David Kidney. We apologize for the error.**