Muskegon man who died in police shootout took own life

May 4, 2022 GMT

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man who died in an exchange of gunfire with state police last month took his own life, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A report from the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office said Joseph Miller, 37, of Muskegon died by suicide, not by gunshots fired by police as previously reported.

“The cause of death is a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head of the suspect,” prosecutors wrote in a dispositional report that details their findings.

Initial reports indicated two troopers shot and killed Miller on April 4 while investigating a home invasion in Muskegon County’s Laketon Township, The Muskegon Chronicle reported. Neither of the troopers were injured.


An autopsy report described other gunshot wounds, including to Miller’s chest and extremities, the prosecutors’ report said.

Police said they responded to a 911 call April 4 from a woman identified by prosecutors as a teenage girl inside the home during a break-in. She called after barricading herself in a locked bedroom as Miller moved about the house.

Arriving troopers met Miller as he exited the home.

Miller was within approximately 30 feet of one trooper when he started shooting his handgun at the officer, prosecutors wrote in the report. Miller also may have fired his gun at the other trooper “before turning his gun on himself.”

A toxicology report indicated Miller had amphetamines and opiates in his body, the report said.