Prosecutor: Fatal shooting by officer near Grand Rapids justified

(Photo: WOOD-TV)  Dash cam video shows Sadiq Bishara-Abaker Idris pointing a gun at a Wyoming police officer before the officer opened fire, killing Idris. (Sept. 7, 2016)
(Photo: WOOD-TV) Dash cam video shows Sadiq Bishara-Abaker Idris pointing a gun at a Wyoming police officer before the officer opened fire, killing Idris. (Sept. 7, 2016)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A police officer was justified in fatally shooting a man in Wyoming last month, the Kent County prosecutor has decided.

In a Tuesday release, Prosecutor William Forsyth said Wyoming Officer Chad Wells had reason to believe that Sadiq Bishara-Abaker Idris posed a threat to his safety.

In the late afternoon of Sept. 7, the prosecutor said, Idris stole a $699 Heckler & Koch .40-caliber handgun from Al & Bob’s Sports on S. Division Avenue, north of 32nd Street. Security camera video shows Idris in the gun shop.

About an hour and a half later, passersby spotted Idris walking on 32nd Street, less than a mile from Al & Bob’s. Wells was the first officer on the scene and found Idris walking along 32nd near Eastern Avenue. Wells said he saw the handgun in Idris’ back pocket and ordered him to show his hands and stop.

Instead, Wells said, Idris pulled the gun from his back pocket and pointed it at him. Idris did not say anything. Wells drew his own sidearm, firing five shots and shooting Idris. The prosecutor says authorities performed CPR and first aid on Idris, but he died at the scene.

At least three witnesses corroborated Wells’ story and dash cam video from his cruiser, which was released Tuesday, shows Idris point the gun at Wells.

An autopsy revealed Idris died of a single gunshot wound to the upper right chest. Toxicology tests didn’t show alcohol or drugs. The Kent County medical examiner said a “trace” amount of cocaine was detected in Idris’ system, but that it was not enough to have affected his behavior.

The gun Idris was holding was the one stolen from Al & Bob’s, the prosecutor said. It was not loaded.

“While we will never know what motivated Mr. Idris to point an unloaded gun at Officer Wells, the fact that he did so is of no legal consequence,” Prosecutor Forsyth wrote.

The prosecutor says there’s no way Wells could have known that the gun was unloaded and that he “honestly and reasonably believed that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that it appeared immediately necessary for him to use deadly force.”

“Under the circumstances, it would be absurd to suggest that Officer Wells was required to wait for Mr. Idris to potentially shoot him before firing his weapon,” the prosecutor continued.

Idris, 25, was originally from Sudan but had been living in Kentwood.

>>Our sister station WOOD-TV first reported this story

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