The felony warrant issued last week that resulted in charges against Ottawa County Deputy Ryan Huizenga in the shooting of GVSU student Derek Copp is available online.
For the most part, there is little new in the warrant. The following exchange between the Detective in the case and the judge offers some insight into what happened:
Deputy Huizenga — were executing a search warrant at the residence there in Georgetown Township where Derek was staying. As they approached the apartment to execute that search warrant another deputy has shown a flashlight into the eyes of Derek Copp as he was opening up the sliding door to answer the door.
As he opened up the door, opened up the curtain, he shielded his eyes from the flashlight. Derek Copp did not have any weapon in his hand…
… was reaching for the door with his weak hand and shot with his strong arm a departmental issued .40 Caliber Glock. The bullet struck Derek Copp in the chest.
THE COURT: And this caused injury to Mr. Copp?
DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT SCHRAM: It caused serious injuries to him and he was immediately taken to the hospital in Grand Rapids.
THE COURT: Is the standard of care, then, from your knowledge, that a deputy in executing a search warrant should employ involving the finger of the strong arm — as you put it — not being on the trigger of the weapon?
DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT SCHRAM: That would be correct. Based on my investigation Derek Copp posed no threat to the officers, including Deputy Ryan Huizenga, and that his finger should’ve been on the outside of the trigger guard, not on the trigger unless he was attending to shoot.
THE COURT: All right. And that’s the negligence or carlessness that’s being alleged here?
DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT SCHRAM: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: All right. The Court’s satisfied based on the testimony that probable cause exists to issue the warrant, and I will issue that warrant.
Huizenga was arraigned earlier today on the charges. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 23 and Huizenga is free on a personal recognizance bond. He was also allowed to go on a previously arranged vacation because he did not pose a flight risk according to investigators.
Nearly a month after the shooting, no charges have been filed against Derek Copp.