Police release name of knife-wielding man killed by southwest Michigan sheriff’s deputies

BERRIEN COUNTY, MI – A man gunned down by two Berrien County Sheriff’s deputies on Thursday night has been identified as 28-year-old Benton Harbor man Chaz Nathan McGowen.

Related: MPs shoot and kill man who charged them with knife in southwest Michigan, police say

The deputies involved in the shooting have both been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

Their names are not disclosed at this time.

“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” said a statement from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office. “As a standard operating procedure, the two deputies were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation and a review by the Berrien County District Attorney’s Office.”

MPs responded to Franklin Woods Mobile Home Park in Niles Township shortly after 10:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 30, when a 911 caller reported that a man had a knife in the 1900 block of South 13th Street.

According to a previous statement from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, MPs gave verbal orders in an attempt to defuse the situation and then fired non-lethal bullets at McGowen when he refused to drop the knife.

MPs reported that McGowen then loaded them, knife in hand.

MPs were then “forced” to use deadly force when they fired at McGowen again, according to a statement previously released by Berrien County Deputy Sheriff Charles Heit.

After McGowen was hit, MPs attempted rescue measures on the spot, but McGowen succumbed to his injuries.

Michigan State Police are leading the investigation into the incident.

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