Authorities: Man killed by deputy acted aggressively with large knife

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HOLLAND, Mich. — A man is dead after he was shot by a deputy Wednesday evening near an apartment complex in Holland.

It happened after 8 p.m. in the 300 block of Beeline Road. Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker says they responded to a medical emergency. Officers approached the apartment and when they say a 43-year-old white man came out of the front door and started acting aggressively while holding a large knife.

Kempker says the deputy ordered him to drop his knife several times, but the suspect refused and continued towards him. That's when the deputy fired 3 shots, killing the suspect.

The deputy who fired the shots is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation from Michigan State Police. The deputy was not injured.

Deputies believe the suspect was the one who made initial medical emergency call. Neighbors identify the suspect as David Thelen.

David Thelen, courtesy Facebook.

David Thelen, courtesy Facebook.

The suspect was the only person inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, deputies say.

The deputy name are not being released at this time.

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8 comments

  • Jay

    This is very true you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight but I remember not too long ago a lot of tax dollars going towards supplying our police officers was very expensive tasers I watch the video yesterday know where the suspect was never close enough to the officer to reach him with a knife the office I could’ve just as easily use the Taser and that man could still be alive and in jail possibly seeking a psychiatric help he probably needed but instead he’s dead do they really not teach you guys any tactical skills other than pulling the trigger

  • Sr

    Knife versus gun, I truly feel the officer should be trained to use the gun as a last resort. With all the money and grants you get, the training provided should take care of this but I’m starting to feel our training is shoot now and don’t worry about the consequences because the union and the people’s tax payer dollars will take care of any wrong doing the officers are doing while we put you on a paid leave ( vacation) pending an investigation. Here, here to better police training and to not being so fearful since you took the job as an officer you should be aware of what comes along with the job( it can be dangerous, get tactical use your brain). It’s no different then a firefighter who runs inside burning homes ( could get burned), a groomer grooming animals ( can get bit or scratched or attacked yet no shootings going on there), a construction worker who lifts heavy materials and works in the heat ( could mess up back and get heat exhaustion) and so on.

    • steve

      Both you and Jay need to realize or remember that if someone is displaying psychotic aggression, tasers don’t always work. If someone is a full blown Looney Tunes out to kill, a gun may be the best or only choice available.

    • Michael

      If you think an officer being on paid leave is a vacation you have zero empathy. That time is the worst time of an officer’s life. They spend the time going over the shooting a million times in their head starting to second guess their actions saying, “What if” and “Did I really have to shoot”. It really is a heart wrenching time. He shot because his training told him it was the right thing to do……..but an officer never WANTS to shoot someone.

      Your comparisons aren’t the most thought out either. Believe it or not firemen don’t just run into a burning building. They take the time to put on head to toe protective equipment (something an officer isn’t given the luxury of) and methodically work their way into a building. If it becomes unsafe they get out. They will let a structure burn before putting their lives at risk. That’s why you don’t see very many articles of firemen dying at fires. You can’t compare a life or death situation to a groomer getting scratched. If that dog was a raging mad pit foaming at the mouth the groomer would refuse to service the dog. The officer doesn’t have that option. A construction worker messing up his back is the same as a police officer having to help lift a 600 lb person on a medical. Having a job that forces you to fight a man with a knife is so much more than anything you tried to compare it to.

      I really wish our public was better trained so they would understand why police officers do what they do. It isn’t a lack of training. Every ounce of training he has received has trained him that a suspect with a knife is a deadly force situation. A knife can kill. The average Taser cartridge has a 15ft wire attached to the probes. If the suspect is close enough to Taser they are close enough to REALLY mess that officer up with the knife. (Google the 21ft rule) A Taser has one shot. If it misfires, if only one probe hits, if the probe doesn’t stick into the clothing/body, or if the suspect’s motion breaks one of the thin wires on the Taser the weapon becomes useless in stopping the suspect. By then it is too late to switch weapons as the suspect could be on top of the officer stabbing. Department policy, firearms training, and Taser Internationals publications all say the Taser is not a substitute for the firearm in a deadly force situation. A man wielding a knife is a deadly force situation. Knives can kill. That isn’t up for debate as it’s been established by the supreme court.

      • No PC For Me

        The anti-police crowd will never accept any logic. They hate police but are the first to call when someone steals their weed.

  • No PC For Me

    Well you all missed the point. the police don’t shoot white people. that’s what Obama, sharpton and the clinton news network has told us many times.
    So, do we riot and loot or keep waiting for al sharptoon to come and tell us what to do?