Trooper Jeffrey J. Werda

February 1, 1968 – April 6, 2011

Trooper Jeffrey J. Werda died as a result of injuries sustained from a roll-over crash while enroute to a vehicle pursuit in Saginaw County on Wednesday, April 6, 2011.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6, Saginaw County Central Dispatch put out a call that deputies from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a vehicle pursuit in the southwest corner of Saginaw County. Trooper Werda was in the village of Birch Run and began heading in the direction of the pursuit with lights and siren activated to assist the deputies.

While heading westbound on Birch Run Road near Morrish Road in Taymouth Township, Trooper Werda lost control of his patrol vehicle, left the roadway and the vehicle rolled several times.

A passerby came upon the crash and reported the incident to Saginaw County Central Dispatch. Emergency responders arrived at the scene and transported Trooper Werda to Covenant Hospital in Saginaw. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Trooper Jeffrey J. Werda is the 50th Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Kevin M. Marshall

November 14, 1969 - July 7, 2003

Trooper Kevin M. Marshall died as a result of gunshot wounds he received while making a tactical entry into a residence of a barricaded gunman. This incident occurred near the city of Fremont, in Newaygo County, on Monday, July 7, 2003 at approximately 4:00pm.

During the evening hours of July 6, 2003, officers from the Hesperia Police Department and the Newaygo County Sheriff Department, attempted to serve a felony warrant for accosting children for immoral purposes on 40 year old Scott Allen Woodring, of Fremont, Michigan. Woodring then barricaded himself in his home. The Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team was requested and responded to the scene.

When Emergency Support team members were attempting to provide communication equipment, the suspect fired two shots at the officers. After 14 hours of negotiations failed, a State Police Emergency Support entry team made a tactical entry into the residence. Trooper Marshall was the lead officer in this team, which was met with gunfire as entry was made. Multiple .223 rifle rounds struck the ballistic shield he was carrying, with four rounds striking Trooper Marshall. Two other members of the team were also struck. One received a non-life threatening injury and the other was unhurt, having been struck in the helmet.

Trooper Marshall was transported to Gerber Hospital in Fremont before being airlifted to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he died during surgery.

Although the house was surrounded by law enforcement officers, the suspect was able to escape undetected after the shooting. A cache of weapons and survival gear were found in the rubble of his house, which caught fire and burned during the standoff. A massive manhunt ensued and a first degree warrant for murder was issued for Scott Allen Woodring by the Newaygo County Prosecutor.

On Sunday, July 13, 2003, the Michigan State Police received a tip that Woodring was in the area of Maple Island (M-120) and 64th Street in Newaygo County. Eight members of the State Police Emergency Support Team were assembled and responded to that location. They located the suspect in a vehicle behind a house. Emergency Support team members ordered Woodring to remain in the vehicle. Despite these orders, Woodring exited the vehicle armed with an assault rifle and turned toward the officers. Woodring was subsequently shot by Emergency Support team members. He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of his wounds.

Trooper Marshall, a native of Sterling Heights, was a member of the 111th Michigan State Police Recruit School and an eight year veteran of the department. He enlisted with the department on January 15, 1995, and upon completion of recruit training, was assigned to the Newaygo post. He joined the department’s Emergency Support Team in 2002. Trooper Marshall was posthumously awarded the Michigan State Police Medal of Valor for his actions in this incident.

Trooper Marshall was earlier presented with the Michigan State Police Bravery Award in May, 2003 for his courageous actions in subduing a suicidal woman who was attempting to stab both herself and her boyfriend.

Trooper Marshall was a graduate of Wayne State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

Trooper Marshall is survived by his wife, Angela and two children.

Trooper Kevin M. Marshall is the 49th Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Rick L. Johnson

January 16, 1965 - May 6, 2000

Trooper Rick L. Johnson died as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop on I-94 in Van Buren County, Saturday, May 6, 2000.

At 7:00 a.m. Saturday, May 6, Trooper Johnson reported for duty at the Paw Paw Post. He was assigned to the day shift.

At approximately 11:56 a.m., Trooper Johnson stopped a motor vehicle on westbound I-94, one quarter of a mile east of M-51, for defective equipment. Trooper Johnson stopped the vehicle, occupied by two subjects, on the north shoulder of the roadway.

Trooper Johnson approached the stopped vehicle on the passenger side, making contact with the driver and other occupant of the vehicle. After speaking with the occupants, Trooper Johnson started to return to his patrol vehicle. As Trooper Johnson was walking back between the patrol vehicle and the vehicle he had stopped, a third vehicle drove off the roadway and struck the rear of his patrol unit.

The impact of the collision first pinned Trooper Johnson between the two vehicles, and then trapped him underneath his patrol unit as it spun into the travel lanes. Trooper Johnson was extricated and treated at the scene by emergency personnel, then flown by Air Care to Bronson Hospital in the city of Kalamazoo. Shortly after arrival at the hospital, Trooper Johnson was pronounced dead due to injuries sustained in the crash.

The driver of the vehicle which struck Trooper Johnson was a 21 year old female. She had reportedly been distracted by actions within her vehicle. She had driven off the roadway, onto the shoulder before striking the patrol vehicle. In addition to herself, other occupants of the vehicle included her mother and two young children. The occupants of the vehicle were treated and released at Bronson Hospital.

After review by the Van Buren County Prosecutor Office, the driver of the vehicle was charged with Negligent Homicide. She was later arraigned on the charge at the 7th East District Court in Paw Paw.

Ironically, just the day before his fatal accident, Trooper Johnson had successfully talked a suicidal man out of jumping off of an overpass just a mile away from what would become the scene of his own death.

Trooper Rick L. Johnson is the 48th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.