The state of Michigan is mourning a state trooper lost Monday night after he was shot in the head during a traffic stop in Mason county. Army Veteran and State Trooper Paul Butterfield, 43, died during surgery later that night after being airlifted to the hospital. Two people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
Michigan governor Rick Snyder has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until after Butterfield's funeral. “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,” Snyder said. “They are heroes.”
According to reports, Butterfield approached a vehicle during a "routine traffic stop," and was shot after sending in the vehicle information to dispatchers. Someone passing by found Butterfield a few minutes later and called 911. While undergoing emergency surgery at Munson Medical Center, Butterfield passed away.
Police located the suspects involved in the shooting two hours later after finding a vehicle at a gas station that fit the description Butterfield provided. The suspects, a man and woman who haven't yet been identified, fired shots at police after being approached. No officers were harmed during the exchange, and the male suspect was shot in the knee and treated at the hospital. Both suspects are in custody; charges will follow pending an investigation.
State police Lt. Chris McIntire said that Butterfield did everything by the book during the traffic stop. “What he did was perfect,” McIntire said. “You can’t prepare for something like this. He did the right thing.”
Many Twitter users have expressed their prayers and support for Butterfield's family, fiancée and the Michigan State Troopers:
— Joe Kocur (@kocurfoundation) September 10, 2013
We mourn the loss Fallen Hero Trooper Paul Butterfield. Please keep his family in your prayers in this tragic... http://t.co/1SseaNyHu6
— Law Enforcement Life (@lelifeIns) September 10, 2013
— Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) September 10, 2013