SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. -- The shooting deaths at the Berrien County courthouse is weighing heavy on the hearts on law enforcement officers across Michigan.
Officers with the South Haven Police Department have close ties with Joe Zangaro, one of the bailiffs killed Monday.
“Joe is a very good friend and well respected officer,” says Natalie Thompson, the acting police chief for the South Haven Police Department.
Thompson says even though Joe Zangaro was retired, he felt a need to protect and serve the community and worked at the Berrien County courthouse, not because he had to but because he wanted to.
“He was still doing that, he was still giving society a honorable and noble part of himself," Thompson said. "He could have been home just enjoying his family, but he had that calling."
Joe Zangaro was a major influence for officers in South Haven, teaching many there how to do their job. “He was very professional; always willing to make you smile. A family man who loved his family and loved his profession,” said Sgt. Patrick Carlotto.
Joe Zangaro leaves behind a wife and two daughters. The South Haven Police Department says he will be missed and their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and family members.