Published September 1, 2010
Deputy cleared in shooting of inmate at hospital
By Sarah Cormier firstname.lastname@example.org
MOUNT CLEMENS — The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has cleared a deputy with the Macomb Sheriff’s Office of any wrongdoing for fatally shooting an inmate that had escaped from restraints while at Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center.
The report, which was issued to Sheriff Mark Hackel on Jan. 5, outlines the details of the events that occurred on Nov. 5 and concludes that the deputy’s response to the situation was “justified.”
That day, Jamin Totty, a 32-year-old prisoner, was transported to Mount Clemens Regional Hospital by the Roseville Police Department. Deputies had just gone to the Macomb County Jail to pick up Totty and take him to Roseville District Court, where he was being arraigned for violating his probation related to an attempted theft charge.
Totty couldn’t make bond, so Roseville police started to bring him back to the Macomb County Jail. On the way there, Totty began complaining of a medical problem, so they took him to the Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center for care. The Sheriff’s Office was then contacted by the Roseville officers, who asked them to resume care over Totty.
An officer was assigned to watch Totty, who was handcuffed to a gurney. However, Totty was somehow able to get out of the handcuffs and run out of the room.
The officer pursued Totty, who continued running down the hallway, running past a cart and grabbing a syringe off of it. According to the report, the syringe “was a large gauge, spring-loaded needle, approximately three inches in length.”
Hospital staff reported that the officer “made at least a dozen requests for Mr. Totty to stop, get down and drop the weapon.”
However, Totty continued to advance toward the officer. Totty then lunged at the officer, who shot him in the chest.
“Based upon the available evidence, it is the opinion of this office that (the officer) … had probable cause to believe that Mr. Totty posed a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to himself, as well as the numerous staff and patients located throughout the emergency room area. Accordingly, the decision to discharge his firearm was justified,” James Langtry, chief of operations for the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, wrote in the report.
Hackel said that he agreed with the report.
“It did indicate … there were many opportunities the individual had to comply with demands and wishes of the officer,” he said. “As hard as it is for the family to accept, and other friends, it definitely was a difficult decision for the officer.”
A phone call made to relatives of Totty has not yet been returned.