New Details In Case Of Barry Co. Man Shot, Killed By Deputies

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DOWLING, Mich. — Investigators says they are “fairly confident” alcohol  was a factor in the incident leading up to Barry County deputies shooting and killed a man outside his mother’s home Saturday.

MSP Detective Chuck Christiansen says a full toxicology report on the body of Ralph Elliot III, 41, will be completed soon.

Deputies were called to a home in the 9800 block of Banfield Road in Baltimore Township around 7:00 Saturday night. The home belongs to Elliot’s mother Linda. Elliot shared a home with his wife and two of their children just next door.

Christiansen says Elliot’s wife Jackie called 911 from a neighbor’s house, saying her husband had a gun. Elliot fired two shots before deputies arrived on scene.

The MSP investigation reveals that Elliot had two handguns at some point during the standoff. It is still uncertain whether or not those weapons were drawn when deputies opened fire. Five shots were discharged by deputies; Elliot was hit twice.

In nearby Dowling, Elliot co-owned the Elliot Body Shop with his mother. Bruce Campbell owns the Dowling General Store just across the street and remembers feeling right at home with Elliot when they moved in five years ago.

“He was the one in the community that came and welcomed us into the community and told us if we needed anything,” he says. “He stuck to it. Any time you needed a favor, something to help us out, he’s there.”

A sign is posted on the Shop’s front door now: “Sorry for any inconvenience, but the body shop is temporarily closed. Thank you.”

A check of his criminal record shows Elliot was charged with domestic abuse in August 2012. Campbell and other friends say that had been a turning point for the 41-year-old, staying clean and sober since that incident. Campbell remembers Elliot even coming into the store on Wednesday and requesting a box of cigars for the weekend to celebrate a sobriety milestone.

One deputy involved in the shooting has been put on paid leave during the investigation. Christiansen expects more information to be released on Tuesday.

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  • Barry Resident

    A tough place to be in for either side. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Mr. Elliott. It also goes out to the police officer that had to be in that position to have to make a difficult decision that would change so many lives. And, ultimately no one knows what may have happened if different measures were taken. However, there's no taking sides with the Barry County Sheriff's Department since I have seen them fail to follow through with proper procedures more than once.

  • Barry Resident

    I feel sorry for the Cop put in that position, but, if you are going to be mentally unstable enough to pull guns on the police, when asked to stand down, there isn't much of an alternative, and, if he had been charged with domestic five months ago, he shouldn't have had any guns in the first place, bad situation all around, shows the flaws in our government, and justice system.

  • Barry Resident

    Since I am aware of Mr. Elliott’s background of domestic violence and alcoholism, I am not siding with Mr. Elliott. However, I want to ask, how do you know “when asked to stand down,” he pulled guns on the police when it hasn’t even been reported by the media yet? I agree there are many flaws in our government and justice system, especially in Barry County.

  • Barry Resident

    I am curious to know if a gun was even in Mr. Elliott's possession and if they actually found any gun powder residue on his hands? We know for a fact, the Deputys all had guns since one of them took the life of Mr. Elliott. In regards to the Sherriff's department, they are about as credible as a used car salesman. I have seen a Barry County Deputy go as far as taking the stand in support of a perpetrator when, as a professional, he should have remained neutral. Now, this? I hope the State Police get to the bottom of it and uncover the truth.

  • guest

    I knew and liked Ralph, but the problem here wasn't the guns, it was the alcohol here that caused him to act unreasonably. In defense of the police, I have two sons in the military. Sons that hand children candy while keeping one hand on their gun in case they need to shoot that same child. There are situations in life when you trust no one, and unfortunately Ralph placed himself in one of those situations.