Michigan State Police are mourning the loss of one of their own, while investigating what led up to the shooting death of Trooper Paul Butterfield.
F/Lt. Chris McIntire, MSP Public Information Officer, said Tuesday investigators have a lot of work to do.
â??This is the job that we do, this is the risk that we take, unfortunately, but I think itâ??s a loss for the entire community not just law enforcement," said McIntire. "Weâ??re very saddened by it.â??
Trooper Butterfield was shot in the head during a traffic stop near Ludington at 6:20 p.m. Monday. He died Monday night during emergency surgery at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.
Police are not releasing the names of the suspects, but according to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, family has identified the suspects as Eric Knysz and his wife Sarah Knysz.
State Police said information Trooper Butterfield relayed to dispatch about the vehicle he stopped, helped develop a suspect in the shooting.
"What he had done was perfect, able to get the license plate number from the stop heâ??d made and track down the suspects and eventually take them into custody,â?? said McIntire.
The suspects were arrested at a gas station in Wellston in Manistee County around 8:25 p.m. Monday.
Police say during the arrest there was an exchange of gunfire and the male suspect was shot. He was taken to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City with non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot wound. The female suspect was taken to the Mason County jail.
Trooper Butterfield joined the MSP in 1999, graduating 118th Trooper Recruit School. He has served at the Manistee and Hart posts and is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Police officers are wearing their badges with black tape over the top in honor of Trooper Butterfield.
"Tonight we lost a hero," stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. "The entire MSP family, as well as our greater law enforcement family, mourns alongside the Butterfields. Trooper Butterfield's sacrifice will never be forgotten; may he rest in peace."
Gov. Snyder released this statement Tuesday:
â??This senseless incident is a grim reminder that our brave public safety officers put their lives on the line every day when they go to work protecting Michiganders. They are heroes. Our hearts break when a Michigan State Police trooper, or any of our other police officers or firefighters, is killed in the line of duty. Their loss is unquestionably felt by their families as well as the communities they serve and our entire state. We realize the extraordinary difficulty of their jobs and the sacrifices they make for us.
A tragic event like this shakes us all, but it also bolsters our resolve to make our streets and our neighborhoods safer.We thank Trooper Butterfield for his bravery, his service and his sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, friends, and colleagues.â??
Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement:
"Trooper Paul Butterfield made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our state. The People of Michigan are privileged to have brave men and women like Trooper Butterfield who ensure the safety of our communities. My wife Cynthia and I extend our deepest sympathies to Trooper Butterfield's family, friends and colleagues. They are all in our prayers on this difficult day."