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Michigan Officer Killed by Suicidal Suspect

April 19, 2011  | 


A Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer responding to a shots-fired call was shot and killed when he confronted a fleeing suspect between two houses.

Officer Eric Zapata, 35, is a 10-year law enforcement veteran with three children. He's the first officer with this department killed in the line of duty.

Officer Zapata was killed Monday evening, when he and a second officer responded to a shots fired call in the 1400 block of Hays Park Avenue. The second officer came into contact with Leonard Statler, the 31-year-old owner of the home, and asked the man if he has heard shots.

Statler ran and was met with Officer Zapata between the homes. He apparently shot the officer in the chest and head, before committing suicide.

Read the full story at MLive.com.


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Sgt. Schell # 13168 @ 4/19/2011 2:39 PM

The guy should have committed suicide before even attempting to shoot officer Zapata. My heartfelt sympathy for the Zapata family and the Department for their loss.

Sgt. Schell - The Netherlands

Starrman69 @ 4/19/2011 6:48 PM

Condolences to the family, co-workers and friends of PSO Zapata

CGarrow @ 4/19/2011 8:34 PM

My thoughts are with Zapata family. Officer Zapata is a hero in my book. Rest in Peace brother.

Steven Ross @ 4/19/2011 10:43 PM

According to Jesus, there is No greater love than to give ones life for another. May God's grace surround and comfort Officer Zapata's wife and children. I pray his children see their daddy as the hero that he is. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Please Lord give this family and this department Your comfort which surpasses all understanding.

Suicide by Cop. What a coward this suspect is. May we all learn a tactical lesson and may the public learn to appreciate the work that law enforcement does to protect everyone-including the mentally ill and those wanting to kill us.

Rest in peace brother! God is watching your family now.

I

John @ 4/25/2011 11:18 AM

I concur with all that was said and don't get me wrong for my next statement. We as police officers do our jobs well and on any situation we do put ourselves in harms way to protect others but that officer did not give his life for another. It was taken from him in the most heinous of ways; by a coward. I've placed my life on the line and in defense of my life and others, took a life. It seems that this year throughout the country it has been deadly on our law enforcement families. My heart pours out to the family, (including the Kalamazoo PD), friends and the community. Rest in Peace Eric Zapata

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