Sunday, August 3, 2008

Officer Timothy Hibbard - Self-defense shooting of murderer Marshan Worthey

Also See:

Officer Timothy Hibbard - Jackson PD - A family in crisis...

Officer Timothy Hibbard - Gerald Landrum charged w/attempted murder of Hibbard. [April 17, 2004]

Officer Timothy Hibbard - Samuel M. Thomas convicted for dragging Officer Hibbard w/vehicle [August 15, 2002]

On August 3, 2008 Officer Timothy Hibbard and other Jackson PD officers responded to a DV call at the home of Shakia Kelley, who had a protective order against her ex-boyfriend Marshan Worthey. Just two days prior, Worthey had been released from jail for violating the PPO.

When the Jackson officers arrived on the scene, Worthy had already shot and killed Shakia. Worthy was dragging Shakia's body down the street and shooting at responding officers. 
Worthy ignored the officers' orders for him to drop his weapon. Instead Worthy's response to the police was to shout at them, "I'll kill you bitches!" as continued to shoot at them. Officer Hibbard and the other responding officers were left with no other choice but to return fire. 

And Worthy's mama said, "They wrong the way they shot him down and they think they can get away with that!"

Domestic calls fraught with danger - Emotion, unknowns make for explosive situations
Jackson Citizen Patriot (MI) 
Sunday, March 14, 2010 

Police officers often work alone. They pull over speeders, follow up on missing persons' reports and investigate crime typically by themselves. 

A domestic disturbance or assault is a different story. Most local departments send officers to those calls in pairs. 

"There's a lot of emotion in them," said Blackman Township Public Safety Director Mike Jester. 

"Officers know that it is a dangerous situation. It's something that's always in the back of their mind." 

In 2009, more officers were shot while on domestic disturbance calls than any other sort of dispatch, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Nearly a quarter,12, of the 49 firearm-related deaths in 2009 happened on domestic disturbance calls. 

The organization's 2009 preliminary Law Enforcement Officer Deaths report concludes that "Once again, responding to domestic disturbance calls proved to be particularly dangerous for America's law enforcement officers during 2009." 

The FBI found that of the 530 officers killed between 1999 and 2008, 14 percent died while investigating a disturbance call, including domestic disturbances. Of the more than half a million officers assaulted during those same years, 31 percent were on disturbance calls. 

Between 2006 and 2009 in Jackson, officers three times shot and killed a person during a domestic disturbance call. In each, the prosecutors reviewing the case ruled the officers acted justly in the shootings. 

And it was a domestic disturbance call that led to the shooting death last week of Jackson Police Officer James Bonneau. Early Tuesday, Bonneau and Blackman Township Department of Public Safety Officer Darin McIntosh entered the house of Elvin Potts on Mitchell Street. Potts shot at the officers, investigators said, killing Bonneau and wounding McIntosh before McIntosh shot and killed Potts. 

Bonneau, 26, the first Jackson Police officer killed in the line of duty since 1978, was laid to rest Friday. McIntosh, 22, attended the funeral but is still recovering at Allegiance Health. 

Detectives concluded their investigation into the 12:26 a.m. shooting at 140 Mitchell St. on Thursday. They expect to send the case to the prosecutor's office Monday. 

"It's not the bank robbery or the bad rapist. Generally officers get killed in situations like this," said retired Jackson Police Officer Robert Howe. 

Jackson Deputy Chief John Holda said domestic-disturbance situations have always been dangerous. When officers respond to domestic reports, often the two parties are still fighting.
Officers typically enter into someone's house, placing the officer in unfamiliar surroundings. 

People are yelling and arguing. Holda called the situations volatile. 

"People have arguments," Holda said, "but when it gets to the point where someone is calling a police officer obviously emotions are at their highest." 

Because a domestic situation often involves two people, it is procedure at the Jackson department and many others to always respond with at least two officers. The officers' task at a domestic, Holda said, is to first separate the fighting parties. 

The Jackson department conducts frequent training on domestic disturbances, Holda said. 

Officers study not only how to tactically handle and diffuse the conflicts but also how to protect and help the victim in the case. 

Even before police officers respond to their first real-life domestic disturbance call, the scenario and procedure has been drilled into them during their police academy training. Ronald Ivey, director of the Kellogg Community College Police Academy in Battle Creek, said his recruits spend 15 hours in the classroom learning about domestic disturbances and countless hours in scenario training.
Ivey, a 30-year veteran of the Marshall Department of Public Safety, said there is no normal or general domestic violence situation, but the recruits study trends and commonalities among different cases.
His academy teaches recruits to stay close to their partners during the investigation and to interview subjects in areas where there is nothing that could be used a weapon. The kitchen, he said, is off-limits. 

Michigan State Police Sgt. Josh Lator said training at the state level tries to incorporate domestic violence in nearly every situation. 

When training how to deal with crimes in progress, mastering defense tactics or even learning how to ask a loud party to turn down the music, the state police Training Academy blends domestic violence into all of it. 

Lator said he teaches officers to be aware of and use four "P's" when responding to a domestic violence situation: 
Plan - Make office safety a top priority; 
Perceive - Use all five senses; 
Perform - Modify the plan if necessary, then execute it; 
Presume - Never presume, always use all your training. 

In these situations, nothing can be discredited or ignored, Lator said. 

"You've got neighbors; you've got pets. You've got other people showing up on scene," Lator said. "You have to be willing to really take your time and step back and say, 'This is what I see, and this is what my training tells me.' " 

Then, Lator said, the officer has to make the right decision. The officer has to make a decision that keeps the victim safe and keeps the officer safe. 

On any given night, Jackson-area officers respond to several domestic disturbance calls. 

Addresses and suspect descriptions chirp across the police radio so frequently, they almost seem routine. But for each officer on each call, they are anything but routine. 

Recent deadly domestic disturbance calls 
Since April 2006, Jackson County police have killed three men and a woman. All of the shootings were precipitated by acts of domestic violence. 

In all but the most recent event involving Elvin Potts, which is yet to be reviewed, prosecutors found the officers' actions justified. 

Jackson Sgt. Michael Gleeson shot and killed Terrance "Terry" Wheeler on May 27 when Wheeler, 58, refused to drop a knife he used to fatally stab his former girlfriend, Dorothy Holliday, 43. 

Gleeson and Officer Chad Dermyer arrived at Holliday's home at 815 Maltby St. after a neighbor reported Wheeler's brother, who since has recovered, had been stabbed and was on the front lawn.
They entered the home and saw Wheeler dart from the kitchen to the bathroom and close the door. Gleeson kicked open the bathroom door and saw Wheeler stabbing Holliday on the floor. 

Wheeler ignored a command to drop his weapon, and the sergeant fired at Wheeler, who fell and continued his assault on Holliday, the prosecutor's office reported. Gleeson then continued shooting, firing nine total bullets. 

Neighbors, family members and friend of Holliday described Wheeler as an angry, violent man with a temper and a big voice. 

He had lived in the Maltby Street home with his brother and Holliday, who had recently kicked Wheeler out of her house. 

Aug. 3, 2008, Marshan Worthey killed his former girlfriend and fired at responding officers with a stolen .22-caliber handgun. Jackson Police Sgt. Timothy Hibbard and officers Jason Ganzhorn and Wesley Stanton returned fire, shooting more than a dozen times and killing Worthey. 

Worthey had shot Shakia Kelley, 22, and dragged her body 100 yards in the area of Bloomfield  Boulevard and Woodbridge Street, officials said. 

On a recording played at an Aug. 14 press conference, the officers were heard ordering Worthey to show his hands as he crouched near Kelley's body. "I'll kill you, b-------," he shouted at cops before he died. 

Worthey and Kelley had a tumultuous relationship that worsened when she tried to break away, police and family members said. She had a personal protection order against Worthey, and he was jailed for five days for violating it shortly before the shooting. 

Jackson Police Sgt. Kevin Hiller and Officer Lisa Medina shot Theresa Cram April 19, 2006, outside her Steward Avenue home as Cram charged toward Medina, wielding a knife. 

Cram did not respond to officers' nine requests to drop the knife, according to recordings. 

Her roommate had called police and said Cram held a knife to her throat. 

Cram had a history of mental-health problems, her brother said, and had spent time in a residential mental hospital for schizophrenia. 

Before Cram's death, it had been 13 years since an officer in Jackson County used deadly force. 

Officials: Officers justified in shooting
Jackson Citizen Patriot (MI) 
Friday, August 15, 2008 

Jackson police officers were justified in shooting to death an armed murder suspect on Aug. 3, investigators and prosecutors concluded Thursday. 

A witness and taped microphone recordings confirmed Marshan Worthey fired upon police and they returned fire, striking him multiple times, Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer said. 

A police recording from the scene indicated Worthey fired a .22-caliber handgun before three officers shot more than a dozen times at him. Worthey had killed his former girlfriend, Shakia Kelley, and dragged her body 100 yards, Blumer said. 

"There is strong evidence this was suicide by cop," he said. 

At a press conference, he played a recording from officers' microphones. The officers are heard ordering Worthey to show his hands as he crouched near Kelley's body at Bloomfield Boulevard and Woodbridge Street. 

"I'll kill you bitches!" Worthey shouted at police, just before they shot him to death. 

The three officers involved remain on paid administrative leave and will be evaluated to see if they are emotionally ready to return to work, Police Chief Matt Heins said. 

Sgt. Timothy Hibbard and officers Jason Ganzhorn and Wesley Stanton are doing well, Heins said. Eventually, they will undergo "fit-for-duty" evaluation. 

"This is a traumatic event not just for the officers involved," Heins said. "It impacts the whole department." 

Heins called for an outside investigation the day of the shootings. 

A state police detective and two Jackson County sheriff's detectives completed a 60-page report, concluding Worthey shot first and the officers responded. 

"The officers tried to make a clean arrest and Mr. Worthey left them no option," Blumer said. 

Members of Worthey's family said they believe officers could have handled it differently, but were not surprised to learn Thursday the officers had been cleared. 

"My son is dead and gone. They (were) wrong the way they shot him down and they think they can get away with that," said Worthey's mother, Alma Brown of Jackson. "I ain't going to let it go." 

She said it has been difficult losing not only Worthey, but Kelley, who had been involved with Worthey since high school. 

"Shakia was like a daughter to me," she said, declining to discuss the events leading up to Worthey's death or the crime police say he committed. 

"I am just going to let him rest in peace," she said. 

Worthey, 24, and Kelley, 22, had a tumultuous relationship that worsened when she tried to break away, police and family members said. She had a personal protection order against him, and he was jailed for five days after violating it, Blumer said. 

Worthey, a father to five, had been out of jail two days when he attacked Kelley in the early morning of Sunday, Aug. 3. Blumer said Worthey shot Kelley multiple times with a .22-caliber handgun that was reported stolen a year ago. 

He then dragged her body about 100 yards, apparently to hide it, Blumer said. 

A man from the neighborhood who witnessed the shoot-out told police that he saw Worthey dragging a woman and saw him shoot at police.

While the investigation is closed, police await a report on tissue samples sent to the state police crime lab. Blumer said it is possible Worthey was high on drugs at the time of his death. 

"I never knew my baby to do (any) drugs," Brown said, leaning against a car outside her mother's home, which had a seemingly constant stream of visitors. 

Blumer declined to disclose the number of bullet wounds in Worthey and Kelley, but said Kelley was not hit by any stray bullets fired by police. 

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