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      Prosecutor: Police justified in using deadly force in December shooting

      56-year-old Gary Welch was shot in the 500 block of Barlow Street in Traverse City by two Crawford County Sheriff's Deputies and a Traverse City Police officer on December 11 after a chase that started in Crawford County.

      County officials say the officers who shot and killed a suspect after a three-county car chase last December were justified in using deadly force.

      Gary Welch, 56, was shot in the 500 block of Barlow Street in Traverse City by two Crawford County Sheriff's Deputies and a Traverse City Police officer on December 11 after a chase that started in Crawford County.

      Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney says witness statements and evidence show that officers shot Welch after he pointed a rifle at the officers and ignored orders to drop the weapon.

      According to a State Police investigation, Welch had struggled with drug abuse problems and mental health issues.

      Police say the chase started after Welch refused to stop for police in Crawford County.