Prosecutor: Officers justified in fatal IR shooting

CRYSTAL FALLS — Two law enforcement officers responding to a domestic call were justified in the June 24 fatal shooting of a 45-year-old Iron River man at his home and will not be charged in the incident, Iron County Prosecuting Attorney Chad A. DeRouin announced Friday.

David Bridgette raised a pistol and pointed it at one of the officers before he was shot, DeRouin said in a news release. Verbal commands were unsuccessful and the two officers — Curt Harrington of the Iron River Police Department and Deputy Mike Mansell of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office — had only seconds to react as the pistol was pointed at Harrington, the prosecutor said.

Michigan State Police from the Iron Mountain post investigated the shooting. DeRouin reached his decision not to charge the officers nearly four months after beginning his review.

According to the prosecutor’s report:

Harrington was sent just after 4 p.m. June 24 for a well-being check at 807 W. Cayuga St. in Iron River, where Bridgette reportedly was breaking things in the home he shared with his wife, Kate.

Mansell also responded and the officers entered the house at 4:11 p.m. after Bridgette’s wife advised them several guns were in the home.

Harrington noticed a pistol on the kitchen table. As he moved to secure the weapon, David Bridgette approached from the hallway carrying a pistol in his right hand and ordering officers to leave.

“Officer Harrington commanded David to drop the weapon but David refused to comply,” DeRouin said in his summary of the events. “As David continued to advance towards Officer Harrington he raised his pistol and pointed it directly at Officer Harrington. As David aimed his

pistol, Officer Harrington and Deputy Mansell fired their service pistols, striking David in the abdomen, arm and face.”

Despite immediate lifesaving efforts, Bridgette died at the home, according to the report.

The well-being check came after an individual who was playing a game with David Bridgette over the internet via Facebook Messenger called 911 to report Bridgette, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and “having an episode,” had flipped over a desk and was smashing and breaking things.

After Harrington arrived, Kate Bridgette acknowledged in the backyard she was “terrified” and showed the officer an entrance to the home that led into the kitchen. Once Mansell arrived, the two uniformed officers entered and were almost immediately confronted by an armed Bridgette, who was “yelling and advancing on Officer Harrington,” DeRouin wrote in the seven-page report.

“The actions taken by Officer Harrington and Deputy Mansell were immediately necessary to protect Officer Harrington from the danger posed by Mr. Bridgette,” DeRouin stated in the report. “As a result, no charges will be filed by this office.”


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