Muskegon deputy honored for taking down suspected parking lot gunman

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Deputy Thomas Schmitt, courtesy Muskegon County Sheriffs Department.

Deputy Thomas Schmitt, courtesy Muskegon County Sheriffs Department.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. —  A Muskegon County deputy is being recognized for his role in taking down an active gunman outside a high school last February.

Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler announced that Deputy Thomas Schmitt was selected to be honored as the department’s Officer of the Year for his role in subduing a gunman outside Muskegon Heights High School.

Roesler said in a release that Deputy Schmitt was assisting the Muskegon Heights Police Department on an assignment that night when he heard gunfire in a parking lot near the school. Schmitt ran into the lot, where he said he observed Clarence McCaleb firing a handgun into a crowd of people.

The Sheriff says Schmitt drew his own weapon and ordered the suspect to drop his gun. The suspect refused and pointed his gun at the deputy instead. That’s when Schmitt fired and shot McCaleb four times in non-lethal areas. The suspect was arrested and treated for his injuries.

McCaleb is currently in Muskegon County jail on several felony charges.

Schmitt’s actions were reviewed by the Michigan State Police and the Sheriff’s Office. It was found that his use of force was justified.

Deputy Schmitt will receive his award at the Fraternal Order of Police Conference in Lansing this June.


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