An official autopsy has concluded that Patrick Lyoya, a black man who was killed by a Michigan police officer, died of a bullet to the back of the neck.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Patrick Lyoya, a black man who was killed by a Michigan police officer, died of a bullet to the back of the neck, according to the official autopsy, which matched the conclusion of an expert hired by the family from Lyoya.
The Kent County medical examiner’s report also said Lyoya’s blood alcohol level was 0.29, more than three times the legal driving limit, when his car was pulled over in Grand Rapids on April 4. , the Detroit Free Press reported on Friday.
Lyoya, 26, a refugee from Congo, was killed in a fight with officer Christopher Schurr shortly after 8 a.m.
Schurr, who is white, told Lyoya he pulled him over because the license plate didn’t match the vehicle, according to the video.
Lyoya started running after the officer asked for a driver’s license. Schurr quickly grabbed him, but the pair continued to struggle on a lawn in a residential neighborhood as the Lyoya passenger recorded the scene on a phone.
Lyoya was on the ground when Schurr shot him. He had demanded that Lyoya remove his hand from the officer’s Taser, according to the video.
Dr. Werner Spitz performed a separate autopsy at the family’s request and announced the results on April 19. He too said a bullet to the head killed Lyoya. He believes the gun was leaning against the head.
“It is very significant that Dr. Steve Cohle came to the same conclusions as Dr. Spitz,” Lyoya family attorney Ven Johnson said, referring to the county medical examiner.
He said Lyoya’s blood alcohol level was irrelevant.
“Drunken driving is not punishable by execution,” Johnson told The Associated Press. “We can all debate, assuming the results are correct, what effect this had on my client’s behavior. But that had nothing to do with the cause and circumstances of his death.
State police investigating the shooting submitted a report last week to the Kent County prosecutor, who will decide whether Schurr will face charges. Chris Becker said he still wanted reports on the Taser and the camera carried by the officer.
Lyoya’s parents want the officer fired and charged. Schurr, who has been furloughed, did not respond to requests for comment.
Find full AP coverage of the fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya: https://apnews.com/hub/patrick-lyoya