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No Charges for MSP Troopers and Lansing Police Officer Acting in Self Defense in January 2023 Officer Involved Shooting

LANSING – Today, the Department of Attorney General announced it has concluded its review of the officer-involved shooting death (PDF) of Nicolas Micko, 35, of Lansing, on January 5th, 2023, without issuing charges against the officers and troopers involved, finding they acted in self-defense. It is the policy of the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office to request the Department of Attorney General review all fatal shootings by officers in Ingham County for the possibility of misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

In the early evening of January 5th, 2023, Lansing police and Michigan State Police (MSP) Troopers responded to Irene Court after multiple 9-1-1 callers described their neighbor, Nicolas Micko, acting erratically, running around the neighborhood carrying a rifle, pointing the gun at nearby homes, and recklessly firing the weapon at a neighbor’s garage, home and into vacant areas along the street.  

MSP Troopers assigned to the Secured City Partnership in conjunction with the Lansing Police Department (LPD) Violent Crimes Initiative were working in the city of Lansing at this time on a surveillance assignment. In response to the radio alert of the shooter on Irene Court, an LPD sergeant requested the MSP Troopers respond to the scene.

Arriving at the scene, officers heard ongoing gunshots and believed the scene to be an active shooter situation. Following the sound of gunshots, troopers and the officer quickly found Micko running in their direction on nearby Wayne Street. Troopers and the officer issued verbal commands to Micko to raise his hands and get on the ground. Micko stopped running but continued walking toward the troopers and officer. At a distance of approximately 50 feet, Micko stopped and withdrew a pistol from his waistband before continuing to walk toward police. Troopers and the officer issued more verbal commands, which Micko ignored, raising the gun and aiming it at the officers. Three MSP Troopers and one LPD Officer opened fire at Micko, striking him 14 times. Approximately 30 seconds transpired from first officer contact to shots fired. 

Troopers provided CPR and life saving measures until paramedics arrived to take Micko to the hospital. Micko later died of his wounds.

The legal issue in this case was whether the MSP Troopers and the LPD Officer acted in a legal manner during their interaction with Nicolas Micko when they used deadly force by discharging their respective weapons. Law enforcement officers have the lawful authority to use force to protect the public welfare, but a careful balance of all human interests is required. An officer’s decision about the level of force necessary to control an individual will be based on the officer’s perception of the threat and the subject’s apparent ability to carry out that threat.

Under all the facts and circumstances known to troopers and officers on this date, they were justified in their use of deadly self-defense. Law enforcement officers have the same privilege of self-defense as anyone else. Shooting a gun in self-defense requires an honest and reasonable belief that an officer is in danger of being killed or seriously injured. If that person’s belief was honest and reasonable, they can act immediately to defend themselves. The act is justified where the person (1) was not the aggressor, (2) acts under an honest and reasonable belief that they are in danger of death or great bodily harm, (3) retreats from the scene if possible and (4) the only recourse lay in repelling the attack by the use of deadly force.

Here, under all of the facts and circumstances presented, the Department concluded the MSP Troopers and the LPD Officer acted in self-defense and did not act in a manner that would substantiate criminal charges. The City of Lansing and Lansing Police Department issued a critical incident community briefing regarding this self-defense shooting, releasing therein body-worn camera footage of the incident.

The Department of Attorney General is available to lead or support any investigation of an officer-involved shooting at the request of any county prosecutor or law enforcement agency within the state and today renews this commitment and offer.


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