MASON COUNTY Michigan State Police are mourning the loss of a hero. A trooper was shot in the head during a traffic stop.
Trooper Paul Butterfield II attempted to pull over two suspects Monday in Mason County, in western Michigan.
A passerby spotted his body in the road just a few minutes later, and called 911. He was taken to the hospital and died during emergency surgery.
Officers found his alleged killers at a gas station a couple of hours later, and they got into a shootout before police could get the pair into handcuffs. One of the suspects was shot, but it's not life threatening. Both suspects are now in custody.
During a news conference Tuesday morning, F/Lt. Chris McIntire from Michigan State Police said Butterfield followed proper protocol during the traffic stop of reporting the license plate, which helped them locate the suspects later.
"You just can't prepare for something like this," McIntire said. "We have probably the best training out there and we do all the right things. Trooper Butterfield did the right things, some things you just can't prepare for."
Butterfield is a U.S. Army vet and a 14-year veteran of the Michigan State Police.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder released a statement about Butterfield’s death.
He says, “A tragic event like this shakes us all, but it also bolsters our resolve to make our streets and our neighborhoods safer."
He called it a "grim reminder" of the dangers involved with protecting the public.