Crawford County Prosecutor clears State Trooper in the fatal shooting of man earlier this month

CRAWFORD COUNTY, MI – Crawford County Prosecutor Sierra Koch has determined that a Michigan State Police trooper will not be charged in the fatal shooting of a man earlier this month.

In findings released Wednesday, Koch said the trooper used “reasonable, justified and legal” action when they shot David Alan Stockton, 48, of Tawas during a traffic stop on northbound I-75, north of the West Federal Highway exit in Beaver Creek Township at about 9 p.m. Feb. 3.

Koch agreed the trooper acted in self-defense, finding that Stockton pointed a gun at the trooper and threatened to shoot him multiple times while making statements like “either you are going to shoot me, or I am going to shoot you.”

The incident began when troopers responded to a vehicle in a ditch in the southern part of Crawford County. Stockton was identified as the driver and began showing signs of intoxication.

According to Koch, he was unable to identify which road he was on or where he was coming from. He also had trouble standing up or speaking and smelled of intoxicants,

Stockton refused roadside tests, but verbally agreed to a breath test. When the trooper returned with the PBT he became “increasingly uncooperative” and refused to comply with repeated instructions, Koch said.

He was then told he was under arrest. Instead, Stockton rolled up his window and pulled out a holstered gun. The trooper told him numerous times to stop, Koch said.

Stockton continued to disobey commands. The trooper shot him one time in the head once he unholstered his gun and pointed it at the trooper.

“It is very tragic that David Stockton lost his life,” Koch said in the opinion. “It is unknown why Mr. Stockton would pull out a firearm containing a full magazine of ammunition and point it at a trooper during a routine traffic encounter. Unfortunately, this left the trooper with no safe alternative other than to use deadly force in self-defense.”

Stockton’s blood alcohol content was .181, more than double the legal limit at the time of the traffic stop, Koch said.

The case has been closed without criminal charges.

Staff Report

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