National News Desk

Officer charged with murder in fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya appears for preliminary hearing

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(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) — The Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer charged with second-degree murder in Patrick Lyoya’s death had a preliminary court hearing on Thursday.

Evidence presented in the preliminary hearing will determine if there’s probable cause that Christopher Schurr, a seven-year veteran of the Grand Rapids Police Department, killed Lyoya. If probable cause is determined, the case may continue to a jury trial.

Schurr pleaded not guilty during his arraignment.

Lyoya, a 26-year-old native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was shot in the head on April 4 after Schurr pulled him over for a faulty license plate. His death prompted protests throughout Grand Rapids.

Body camera video showed Schurr shouting at Lyoya to “get in the car.” The footage was released nine days after the shooting.

Schurr can be heard asking Lyoya if he spoke English and then demanding that Lyoya show his driver’s license. Lyoya turned to a passenger in the car, closed the door and started to walk away from Schurr, according to the video.

Lyoya started to run. Schurr grabbed Lyoya and struggled with him before eventually forcing him to the ground, shouting “Stop resisting,” “Let go” and “Drop the Taser,” according to the video. Police said Lyoya grabbed at Schurr’s stun gun during the altercation.

The body camera was deactivated during the struggle, according to police.

Lyoya was then shot in the back of the head, according to an independent autopsy report and the Kent County medical examiner.

Schurr was fired from the Grand Rapids Police Department in June after waiving his right to a discharge hearing.

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