MSP trooper thankful for bulletproof vest

A bulletproof vest worn by Michigan State Police Trooper Dan Thayer.

UNION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A trooper who was shot two weeks ago says his bulletproof vest most likely saved his life.

Michigan State Police Trooper Dan Thayer was shot while executing a search warrant near Union City. He said he is grateful he was wearing that vest two weeks ago when a suspect opened fire on him and five other officers.

“Well, first off, I never realized I was shot,” Thayer said. “Somebody else pointed it out to me.”

It all happened last month,when a team of officers went to a house in Union City to execute a search warrant in relation to a cold-case murder. The suspect, 62-year-old David Kidney, told officers he was armed as they approached the back door of his home, which is when police say he opened fire, hitting Thayer in the chest.

“Not only did the vest stop it and save me, but I never felt anything,” said Thayer. “I had no injuries. It wasn’t the adrenaline, because there were no marks. It stopped it cold.”

Without the vest, things may have been much different.

“I heard from our lab personnel, the experts that looked at my vest and what not, and they were not so confident that the body armor, the soft body armor that we wear under our shirt would have stopped it,” he says.

When asked whether getting shot will affect his ability to do his job in the future, Thayer said he relies on his training.

“I wouldn’t think it will change what I’m going to do or think while I’m out there on the job,” he said.

The other officer who was shot, Detective Sgt. Aaron Steensma, is now home recovering from his injuries.