Wyoming police chief delivers statement from wounded officer

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WYOMING, Mich. -- Although the investigation is still underway, authorities were still canvassing and interviewing witnesses in the area Friday afternoon.

The Michigan State Police are taking over the investigation. The Wyoming Police Department tried to answer some more of the unanswered questions that the community has about the officer-involved shooting that took place Thursday afternoon.

As many as seven different police departments, including the FBI, lined Himes Street after reports of an officer down from the Wyoming Police Department.

“It`s been a long evening and a long day,” said Wyoming Chief James Carmody

Carmody spoke briefly Friday night.

“As a department our goal is very simply this, to ensure that every officer makes it home to their family every day,” he said.

The police department is collectively letting out a sigh of relief that officer Frank Hartuniewicz is back home recovering from a gunshot wound.

“Hartuniewicz is a 15-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety,” said Carmody. “We met with him earlier this afternoon. He is at home resting, still in a lot of pain but doing very well.”

Carmody says the suspect, Al James, exited the home and opened fire on officers, wounding Hartuniewicz.

“It started out as a domestic, and we know that both the suspect and his wife had been drinking,” Carmody said. “Alcohol was certainly involved.”

FOX 17 NEWS is looking into James’ criminal history, which includes a drunken driving conviction plus a conviction for assault. Court records show he stabbed his wife in the neck with a knife in 2009.

Carmody commended the actions of all law enforcement who responded.

“They acted heroically and without hesitation, facing danger without description,” he said.

Carmody also read a statement on Hartuniewicz’s  behalf:

“As a family, we appreciate the many thoughts, prayers and kind words we have received over the past 24 hours. This has been an extremely challenging time and we are so grateful for the tremendous support of our community. We also wanted to recognize the many officers and departments who immediately came to the aid of Wyoming Public Safety yesterday. It has been my honor to have served as an officer for the city of Wyoming for the past 15 years, and I look forward to returning to duty when I am able.”

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