Legal review finds deputy who shot and killed CMU abductor acted in self defense
A legal review and analysis of the events that led to the shooting of 31-year-old Eric Ramsey after he abducted and raped a Central Michigan Student found the deputy who shot him was acting in self defense. .
Around 9:30 p.m. on January 16, Ramsey, a convicted felon, abducted a woman at gunpoint in a parking lot on the CMU campus. Ramsey then drove the victim's car to a home on Crawford Road in Isabella County where he proceeded to rape her, then tape her arms to her torso and her mouth shut.
Ramsey then forced the woman back into her vehicle and proceeded to place two medium sized gas cans in the car with her. He then showed her a lighter, told her it had gone through the washing machine twice and said "We will see if Jesus loves you. If it lights, you die. If it doesn't, you live." Ramsey then struck the lighter and it lit. He got in the car, that was holding the victim, and started driving.
A short time later, the victim opened the passenger door and rolled out of the vehicle that was traveling at 45 miles per hour. She suffered injuries including a broke arm, but as able to "sprint" to a house on Mission Road, where she began to knock on the door and yelling for help.
James Persyn, 14, was in home with his 11-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother. He let the victim in, locked the door and ushered everyone into the bathroom while calling 911 for help. Ramsey, who had followed the victim to the home, tried to get into the house and when he couldn't, set the home on fire and fled the scene.
Persyn's father arrived home to find a gas can outside and the house on fire.
Meanwhile, State Police Sgt. Brett Gooding observed what he believed to be a suspicious vehicle near the K-mart in Gaylord. He followed the vehicle and eventually made contact at what appeared to be a two-story residence.
Inside the car was a while man with short hair and "unshaved appearance." Due to what the Sgt. described as the driver's strange behavior, he decided to call dispatch to alert them of his location. While making his way back to his patrol car, the suspect backed the car up parallel with the patrol car, then sped off, sideswiping Sgt. Gooding's car.
Moments later, Sgt. Gooding noticed the suspect's headlights approaching quickly from the front of the parking lot. The suspect intentionally crashed into the patrol car, violently shoving it into the side of a garage and causing Sgt. Gooding to strike his head on the in-car computer.
Two other State troopers, Leonard and Kelly, found the suspect's car unoccupied and followed footprints to Arrow Sanitation where the suspect had stolen one of the sanitation trucks.
Crawford County Deputy Jacobi was near Grayling High School when he was a "flatbed wrecker" traveling what he believed to be too fast for the snowy conditions. Deputy Jacobi then witnessed the truck ram into a fully marked MSP patrol car carrying Troopers Leonard and Kelly. The suspect then crashed the truck into Deputy Jacobi's patrol car.
Jacobi managed to get out of his patrol car, carrying his M16 rifle, and saw the suspect with what he believed to be a gun. Jacobi yelled for Ramsey to put his hands up, while throwing the M16 to the ground. Another deputy arrived on the scene to provide cover for Jacobi.
Jacobi attempted to approach the truck and saw that Ramsey was pointing an object at the deputies, so Jacobi began firing his Glock .40. Officers checked Ramsey for vital signs and found he was dead.
Inside the truck, officers found a ski mask and a realistic looking air pistol. It was later determined that gun Ramsey used to abduct the young woman was, in fact, the air pistol.
According to the Prosecutor's analysis, it was determined that Deputy Jacobi shot Ramsey in self defense, meaning it was not a homicide.
"Based upon a review of the facts and the law, it is clear that Mr. Ramsey presented an immediate danger of death or great bodily harm to Deputy Jacobi," the report reads. "As such, Deputy Jacobi acted properly in self-defense."
The Prosecutor went on to commend Deputy Jacobi and all law enforcement involved for their work in this case, saying if it wasn't for them, additional lives could have been lost.