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Kalamazoo County deputy dies following police pursuit and shooting

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Kalamazoo County Deputy Ryan Proxmire is pictured in this photo provided by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office. (WWMT/Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office)

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office said the deputy shot in Saturday night's police chase in Kalamazoo County has died of his injuries.

Ryan J. Proxmire was shot during the chase, then taken to the hospital, where he was in "extremely critical condition" most of Sunday.

"Deputy Proxmire, his family, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement need your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this tragic situation," said Sheriff's Office representatives in a statement issued before his death.

Sunday morning, officials said the suspect in the shooting was dead at the scene after the chase.

According to the sheriff's office, the suspect had been involved in a pursuit earlier Saturday evening when deputies spotted the man at a gas station on 35th Street just outside of Galesburg.

When deputies approached, the Sheriff's Office said the suspect pointed a gun and sped off.

Deputies then followed the man as he started shooting at their patrol cars. During this time, one of the deputies was shot, causing his cruiser to crash in the area of MN Avenue and 38th Street in Charleston Township, south of Galesburg.

According to officials, the other deputies continued the pursuit for about another 4.5 miles. The suspect lost control of his car and drove into a field off 44th Street south of E Q Avenue in Climax Township, where it got stuck. There, authorities said he got out of the car and started firing again.


The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office said deputies and the suspect exchanged gunfire and the suspect died at the scene.

The deputy who was shot was found by a passerby, who called 911. The deputy was rushed to the hospital.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff James VanDyken said just before 11 p.m. there was no threat to the public.

Sheriff's Office representatives said Proxmire was assigned to the road patrol, but had also worked with the Jail Division and had filled in as a temporary sergeant when needed.

They said Proxmire had provided field, stun gun and subject control/defensive tactics training to other officers.

According to the statement, more information would be available Monday.

On Sunday afternoon, first responders from several local agencies gathered at Bronson Methodist Hospital in support of Proxmire.

Later that day, deputies brought Proxmire's body out of the hospital and led a procession away.

A Light Up the Night event was planned to take place in front of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office at 8:30 p.m. in honor of Proxmire.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with the most current information from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office.