Kalamazoo County Sergeant Cleared in 2021 Fatal Shooting at Galesburg Gas Station
A review into a an officer involved shooting in Kalamazoo County that happened in the fall of 2021 has been completed. It has been determined that Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Sgt. Ronald Garrett acted in lawful self-defense in the early morning shooting death of R.V. Johnson II at the Galesburg Shell gas station on October 4.
On Tuesday, the Kalamazoo County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney reported that it had completed a review of the incident. Prior to the release of the decision, Prosecutor Jeff Getting personally met with the involved members of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office to discuss findings related to the incident. He also spoke with the family of Johnson to inform them of the decision.
The events of October 4th were incredibly tragic. They forever changed the lives of those personally involved, their families and loved ones, our law enforcement officers, and our community. It is the opinion of the Prosecuting Attorney that Sgt. Ronald Garrett of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office acted in lawful self-defense in his use of deadly force. The actions of Mr. Johnson posed an immediate and extreme threat of death or serious injury to him. His belief that Mr. Johnson posed an immediate threat was both honest and reasonable. The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney would like to thank the Michigan State Police for their thorough investigation of this matter. - Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting
The shooting happened at the gas station, located on 35th St. near I-94, at around 2:45 a.m. on October 4, 2021. 22-year-old R.V. Johnson II had arrived at the business and requested that one of the employees at the Shell station call 911. The call was made just 8 minutes before he was shot.
In a body-cam video released in the days following the shooting, Sgt. Garrett arrived and asked Johnson “What’s up?” and “What’s going on?”. He then noticed Johnson pointing something at him and said “What’s that?” Johnson then told Garrett to back up.
Johnson then pointed the knife at the Sgt. and started to step toward him. Garrett repeatedly told Johnson “Don’t do it!” and “Put it down! You don’t want to do that!” You can hear Garrett telling Johnson multiple times that he will shoot. After Johnson came even closer, he was fatally shot.
Garrett was put on a standard paid administrative leave after this incident which was followed by an investigation by the Michigan State Police.