Police in Michigan chase shopper, shoot him in parking lot
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police responding to a call about a shopper with a gun chased a man at a Michigan big-box store and shot him twice in the parking lot, according to video.
“You just shot me for no reason,” DeAnthony VanAtten, 20, told officers as he lay on the ground handcuffed while they checked his injuries outside a Meijer store in East Lansing on April 25.
East Lansing police released video from body-worn cameras and the store’s roof Thursday and said state police were in charge of the investigation.
“We are taking this situation very seriously,” Police Chief Kim Johnson said. “I know the facts have been slow to come out about this incident, and we appreciate the community’s ongoing patience.”
Burnette VanAtten said her son was shot for “shopping while Black.”
“He was running in fear for his life,” she told the Lansing State Journal.
The incident began after a 911 dispatcher said someone had called with a weapons complaint at Meijer.
The dispatcher was very specific, saying a Black 20-year-old man with a hat and mask covering all but his eyes had pulled a gun from his Chevrolet Equinox and was headed into the store.
“He’s not threatening anybody with it,” the dispatcher said.
Officers were inside the store looking for VanAtten. Minutes later, an officer confronted him and ordered him to show his hands as the man was leaving a lobby with a bag. A foot chase began through rows of parked cars.
“He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” an officer yelled, before VanAtten was shot.
A gun was found elsewhere in the parking lot under a vehicle.
VanAtten was treated at a hospital and taken to jail for a probation violation unrelated to the incident. He’s no longer in custody, police said.
Johnson said he couldn’t answer questions about the gun because it was part of the state police investigation.
Meijer discourages people from openly carrying guns but doesn’t ban them.
East Lansing officials said they released video in an effort to be open with residents in officer-related shootings, similar to the justification cited in April when authorities in Grand Rapids, Michigan, released video of the police killing of Patrick Lyoya.
That case, too, is being investigated by state police.