Detective who was shot ‘overwhelmed’ by support

MSP Detective Sgt. Aaron Steensma
MSP Detective Sgt. Aaron Steensma. (Courtesy photo)


CASSOPOLIS (WNDU/WOOD) — A Michigan State Police trooper who was shot in the line of duty last month continues to recover at his home in Cassopolis.

Detective Sgt. Aaron Steensma was allowed to go home on Super Bowl Sunday. WNDU, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, Ind., reports people lined the streets with a large American flag to cheer for him as he was driven home.

“Everybody took time out not to be at their Super Bowl parties, and my wife Lesley and I would just start crying in the car, and it was a good cry,” Steensma told WNDU. “We just both looked at each other, and seeing that flag, really hit home, oh my gosh, and looking around at all the people. We just can’t put into words what people do. It’s so overwhelming.”

A suspect shot Steensma Jan. 24 near Union City as a group of officers executed a search warrant in connection to a 2009 homicide. WNDU reports Steensma sustained a broken collarbone and punctured lung, as well as nerve damage. There’s still a bullet in his body and authorities say it could take three years for him to heal fully.

Steensma’s wife told WNDU her husband was initially in a coma. When he woke up, he wrote a note asking if anyone else had been shot. Another trooper, Daniel Thayer, had been shot, but his bulletproof vest protected him from serious injury.

Steensma wrote one other thing after he woke up: “Lucky shot.”

He told WNDU he’s focused on getting better and hopes to return to the force.