Wiese: Police shooting justified

MARQUETTE – Two police officers involved in a fatal shooting at a home in Humboldt Township Thursday have been found to be justified in their actions by Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Wiese.

According to a release issued by the prosecuting attorney, his office reviewed the Michigan State Police investigation into the shooting of Lori Lee, 50, which occurred at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday in Champion, outside Lee’s home.

The review found no criminal charges were warranted against the 17-year state police veteran and the five-year veteran of the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office who were involved in the shooting.

“The investigation was handled extremely professionally,” said Wiese. “Everything was looked at from every angle, and everything that we obtained from the officers at the scene was corroborated and supported by all the other pieces of evidence. It was a very thorough, very professional investigation.”

Both officers responded Thursday to a 911 call reporting a domestic dispute in progress involving a firearm at Lee’s residence.

According to Wiese, the call was placed by Lee.

“She was basically letting the authorities know she was distraught and wanted to end her life,” Wiese said.

Lee also told the dispatcher she would use a gun on police if they came to her home, Wiese said.

Wiese said once officers arrived at the home on County Road FS in Champion, Lee was outside with a scoped rifle.

He said police ordered Lee to drop the weapon several times and she refused.

“She was repeatedly told to put down the gun,” Wiese said. “It was pointed at (the police). It was in a firing position.”

Wiese said when Lee refused the officers’ commands to put the firearm down, the trooper fired, striking Lee. Wiese said investigation revealed the rifle was not loaded.

An autopsy conducted Friday by the Marquette County Medical Examiner at Marquette General Hospital showed Lee had a single fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

Wiese said toxicology reports on Lee have yet to come in.

Names of the two police officers involved are not being released by the prosecuting attorney’s office.

The state police trooper has been reinstated to active duty, according to Negaunee Township state police post commander Lt. Bob Pernaski.

Pernaski would not release the name of the trooper, saying further inquiries into the case would have to go through the prosecutor’s office.

No one was available for comment at the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office this morning.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.