MATTAWAN, MI – Dash-cam video shows a police officer, who has since been charged with reckless use of a firearm, shooting at a car as the driver sped away.
Former Mattawan police officer Chelsey Omilian fired at least five shots at a car that had been reported as stolen on Friday, Nov. 3. A woman inside the Chevrolet Impala was injured by the gunfire.
The video shows the suspect vehicle hitting Omilian’s police cruiser and driving away. As the suspects drive off, Omilian shoots at the back of the car.
After the shots were fired, Omilian and other officers spend several minutes looking for the suspect vehicle. Omilian can be heard saying, “I just shot at somebody. I just (expletive) shot at somebody.”
The vehicle was found in a nearby neighborhood, where it was ditched after it struck a fence. Gary Lynne Kingsbury, the suspected driver, and a second woman in the vehicle were not injured.
Omilian is no longer employed with Mattawan Police Department. She was arraigned on Friday, Nov. 17 in Van Buren County on one count of reckless use of a firearm, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
The investigating officer felt the suspect driving the vehicle was attempting to run her over, police said.
Randall Levine, Omilian’s attorney, said the dash-cam video doesn’t show everything and it’s easy to be critical of Omilian’s actions without knowing her perspective and the situation she faced.
“This felon was armed, she believed, had a fugitive in his front seat and a woman who happens to have been a heroin addict in the back seat,” Levine said.
He said Omilian was charged with a crime before all the facts were presented. “I expect once the jury hears all the facts, they’ll find her not guilty,” Levine said.
Omilian is a former Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer and Levine said she resigned to take the job at Mattawan.
Kingsbury was charged with one count of unlawful use – taking a motor vehicle and resisting and obstructing a police officer, which stemmed from the Nov. 3 incident.
He was also arraigned on one count of unlawful use – taking a motor vehicle in an incident alleged to have happened on Oct. 26.
The motor vehicle charges are punishable by up to two years in prison or a $1,500 fine. The charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer is punishable by two years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.