(03/23/12) - An early morning traffic stop left a Michigan State Police trooper injured and a Saginaw man dead.
Just after 2 Friday morning, two Michigan State Police Troopers stopped a white car for a traffic violation on Fulton near Bagley and Walcott on Saginaw's south side.
Investigators say after they approached the 21-year-old driver and the passenger a second time, one of the troopers was shot twice.
The officers returned fire, killing the passenger, 24-year-old Keontae Amerson.
The troopers family has asked not to release the officer's name at this time. They want their privacy. He remains in stable condition.
State Police say the officers made contact with the car, went back to the patrol to finish their investigation and when they approached the vehicle a second time, there was some kind of altercation between the officers and Amerson. He then pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots, hitting one of the troopers in the neck and arm.
They returned fire, killing Amerson.
Lt. Steve Sipes of the Michigan State Police talked to the media Friday after the trooper, an 11-year veteran, was shot during the early morning traffic stop.
"They were fired upon and returned fire to stop the deadly threat. Investigation is on going and that will determined what happened in the end," Sipes said. "Traffic stop is one the most dangerous things an officer does. They make traffics every day you just never know what's going to happen. I'm sure there will be more heightened awareness on the street."
The female driver was questioned and released.
Saginaw County circuit court records show convictions for Amerson on several charges between 2006 and 2009 involving drugs, a stolen vehicle and a concealed weapon.
He spent time the Saginaw County jail, but never went to prison.
State Police say they don't know why Amerson fired at the officers.
The other officer involved is on paid leave until the investigation is complete.
Amerson's family declined to comment when ABC12 spoke with them Friday.
ABC12 Main Station