Officers ­‘justified’ in fatal shooting

IRON RIVER — Iron County Prosecuting Attorney Chad A. DeRouin has determined that an Iron River Police officer and a Iron County Sheriff’s Department deputy were justified in their use of deadly force against an Iron River man last June.

On Thursday, June 24, shortly after 4 p.m., Officer Curt Harrington, of the Iron River Police Department, was dispatched to a wellfare check at 807 W. Cayuga St. in Iron River. Harrington had been informed David Bridgette was breaking things in the home and that his wife, Kaye Bridgette, was present in the home as well.

The initial call to dispatch came after a friend of Bridgette called 911 after Bridgette got upset while playing Dungeons & Dragons over Facebook Messenger. Bridgette told the friend “I can’t take it anymore” and shortly after flipped the desk the computer was sitting on. The friend called 911 and told dispatchers Bridgette suffers from PTSD and was “having an episode.”

Harrington was the first officer on the scene, arriving at 4:07 p.m., and Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Mansell arrived shortly thereafter at 4:10 p.m.

At the scene, Harrington spoke with Kaye, who was in the backyard on the south side of the home. She informed him that her husband was upset and breaking things in the home. She also informed the officers there were several guns in the home.

The officers entered the east entrance of the home at 4:11 p.m. When Harrington entered the home he noticed a pistol sitting on the kitchen table, which was only a short distance away. As Harrington went to secure the weapon, Bridgette came down the hallway with a pistol in his right hand and a keyboard and joystick in his left hand and confronted the officers.

Harrington and Mansell attempted to get Bridgette to put the gun down, but Bridgette refused. Both officers raised their service weapons during the incident, and Bridgette pointed his pistol at Harrington. At that point, both Harrington and Mansell fired. Four of the five shots fired by the officers struck Bridgette, hitting him in the abdomen, arm and face.

Both officers attempted life-saving measures, applying pressure to wounds, talking to Bridgette, calling for EMS, attempting to keep Bridgette’s airways open, and administering first aid until EMS arrived at the scene at 4:21 p.m.

Once at the scene, an EMS paramedic checked for a pulse but was unable to find one.

An autopsy sent to the Michigan State Police 8th District Investigative Response Team Tuesday indicated a toxicology screening found no substances of significance in Bridgette’s body.

“At that moment, with only seconds to react, faced with an armed man, who refused to follow verbal commands, who was yelling and quickly advancing on Officer Harrington in a very confined space, who continued to advance despite knowing the officers were armed, would cause and ‘reasonable officer’ to have an honest and reasonable belief that they were in immediate danger of serious injury or death,” said DeRouin in a press release issued Friday.

As the use of deadly force was deemed justified, no charges against the officers will be filed by the Iron County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.


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