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State Police Sgt. Hospitalized With Gunshot Would To Chest; Suspect Found Dead

UNION TOWNSHIP (WWJ) - Two Michigan State Police troopers are wounded, one seriously, and a suspect is dead following a incident south of Battle Creek.

According to MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Det. Sgt. Aaron Steensma of the Marshall Post remained hospitalized in serious but stable condition, Wednesday afternoon, undergoing treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest.

"Thanks to the quick actions of troopers at the scene and the excellent medical attention he received from ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital, West Michigan Air Care, and the trauma team at Borgess Medical Center, D/Sergeant Steensma is doing remarkably well for the seriousness of his injury," Etue in a statement.

MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw said Steensma and Trooper Daniel Thayer were serving a search warrant in a cold case investigation Wednesday morning at a home in Branch County's Union Township, when they encountered the gunman.

"When they announced their presence at the front door, an individual inside the house leveled a shot-gun or a long gun at the officers and began opening fire," Shaw told WWJ's Zahra Huber.

The troopers attempted to take cover, but Steensma was shot in the chest. Thayer, police said, suffered only a graze wound to the hand while a second bullet was stopped by Thayer's ballistic vest.

A short time later, Shaw said the suspect was found dead in a nearby field, possibly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An investigation is ongoing.

Etue noted that all MSP personnel were wearing body armor at the time of the incident. Information on the cold case the troopers were investigating was not immediately disclosed.

The suspect's name has not been released.

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