A suburban Detroit police officer won’t face charges for shooting and killing a high school senior.
Police in the downriver community of Trenton shot 18-year-old Kyle Baker inside his home in late May.
They were called to do a welfare check on the teen, after school officials reported his “erratic and paranoid behavior before leaving campus.”
Officers entered the home, where Baker advanced on them with a two-foot-long lawnmower blade, according to Trenton police.
The officers tasered him to no effect. One of the officers shot Baker after suffering a serious laceration from the lawnmower blade. Baker later died.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Friday that a months-long “extensive investigation” by her office’s Public Integrity Unit found that the shooting was “justified.”
The Michigan State Police also conducted an investigation, turning the results over to Worthy’s office.
“In this case, the officers not only acted in self-defense and defense of others, but no shots were fired until after the decedent had seriously injured one of the officers with a lawnmower blade and kept advancing. As a result, no charges against any officer will be issued,” Worthy said in a written statement.
“Baker’s family also corroborated that Baker exhibited out of character behavior leading up to the incident,” according to Worthy’s statement.
Worthy said the investigation included a thorough review of witness statements, photographic evidence and medical records, including a toxicology report. Initial witness reports described Baker as being “highly-agitated and possibly on drugs.”
The toxicology report was positive for marijuana. It was also positive for fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller, though it’s not clear whether that was administered in the hospital prior to Baker’s death.