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Kalamazoo Officer Fatally Shot By Suspect In Line of Duty

Kalamazoo Officer Fatally Shot By Suspect In Line of Duty

Associated Press

April 19, 2011

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A man fleeing a gunfight with one police officer confronted another and fatally shot him in a southwestern Michigan city alley, police said Tuesday. The gunman then turned the gun on himself.

Officer Eric Zapata, a 10-year veteran of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, was shot in the head and chest late Monday night, Chief Jeff Hadley said during a news conference. The 35-year-old officer was declared dead at a hospital.

“We as a community did not send one of our officers home safely at the end of his shift,” Hadley said.

The suspect, 31-year-old Leonard Statler, died from what police belief was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officers were called to the city’s Edison neighborhood about 11:18 p.m. Monday following a report of shots being fired.

The first officer to arrive saw Statler on a porch and asked if he heard any shots, Hadley said.

At that point, Statler was not a suspect but he pulled out a gun and began trading shots with the officer, who radioed for help as he took cover, Hadley said.

Statler then fled, running between two houses. Moments later, the officer who had questioned him and others in the area heard more gunshots.


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  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    about 3 years ago

    2944 Comments

    RIP Officer. We Pray for your family amist the loss. The Community will miss you and your service

  • 101_max50

    gman3858

    over 3 years ago

    318 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    milcop

    over 3 years ago

    762 Comments

    RIP my Brother

  • Car_004_max50

    copper380

    over 3 years ago

    2026 Comments

    Lord, Bless the Soul of our Fallen Brother. I pray for and ask for blessings for the family, fellow officers and friends of Officer Zapata. Rest In Peace Brother.

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50

    Gombino

    over 3 years ago

    2658 Comments

    Rest in peace, Brother. My prayers for your family and co-workers.

  • Badge_max50

    diablo1143

    over 3 years ago

    24 Comments

    rip brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    KATP911

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    To a wonderful officer.....you will be missed.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    aussie4

    over 3 years ago

    5328 Comments

    God Bless Leo Zapata and his family. Its too bad the pos coward didnt take his own life before the took yours.

  • Sheriff_max50

    MCSODeputy

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    RIP Brother

  • Prince_hall_max50

    onetime

    over 3 years ago

    1294 Comments

    RIP Brother. prayers goes out to your family

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    granny1

    over 3 years ago

    1448 Comments

    rest in peace.may your children know what a hero,there farther was.there in my prayers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    captainbud

    over 3 years ago

    420 Comments

    May you rest in peace, my brother. May God comfort and bless your family and friends.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    A Silent Hero is gone, but he will be remembered. I pray for Office Eric Zapata, his family, friends and for his Department. RIP my brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    amurray6523

    over 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    Rest In Peace Officer Zapata may god deliver peace and comfort to your collages ,department,and family and friends

  • Pa_iii_frank_dimiceli_01_max50

    FBD183

    over 3 years ago

    728 Comments

    Rest In Peace Brother,,,Prayers for the wounded Officer,,, IRONICALLY JUSTICE WAS SWIFT AND HARD

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