Saginaw County Prosecutor Determines Officer-Involved Shooting in Chesaning Justified

The Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office has concluded that an officer-involved shooting that killed a suspect in Chesaning in January was justified.

The Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team (EST) was executing a high-risk search warrant at an apartment at 406 E. Broad in Chesaning, when an occupant, Jon Neitling, broke a hole through a wall and pointed a gun through it at the officers outside. Officers fired multiple shots when they saw the gun barrel, striking Neitling, who died at the scene. A woman, Samantha Searles was also at the scene, and did not obey officers’ commands to come to the door.

After reviewing evidence including witness statements, video and audio recordings of the incident, the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s office made the determination that deadly force by law enforcement personnel was justified under the circumstances.

A statement issued by the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday said,  “We conclude that the use of deadly force by law enforcement personnel under these circumstances was justified. When EST members made the call to use deadly force, they were attempting to execute a search warrant based on probable cause, repeatedly announced their presence and purpose, gave commands with which Searles and Neitling refused to comply, and were confronted with the barrel of what appeared to be a handgun protruding from the wall opposite them. Multiple EST members who were present at the porch doorway reported that, when Neitling broke the hole in the wall and pointed the barrel of the apparent handgun at the officers, they feared for their lives and the lives of their fellow officers. Considering all of the circumstances, we conclude that the actions of law enforcement personnel were justified and consistent with preservation of self and others.”