Taylor auxiliary police unit temporarily suspended after accidental shooting

Taylor Auxiliary Police Civil Defense
Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 26, 2022

TAYLOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — After a civilian role player was shot accidentally during a training on Sunday, the Taylor Auxiliary Police Civil Defense has been temporarily suspended, the mayor announced Tuesday.

The mayor listed other changes to the program as Michigan State Police investigates how the accidental discharge occurred. The auxiliary unit is run separately from the Taylor Police Department.

The shooting happened at Heritage Park around 5 p.m.

Investigators say the training involved auxiliary officers, and one of the officers in the training discharged a round from his service weapon. That hit the victim in the abdomen during a vehicle take-down scenario.

“First of all, I’d like to say that our hearts and prayers are with the victim of the shooting and his family,” Mayor Tim Woolley said in a statement. “As a result of the incident, an investigation is currently underway by Michigan State Police."

Woolley says changes have been made following the incident:

  • The auxiliary program, consisting of less than 25 volunteers, is on temporary suspension as MSP investigates.
  • The written final exam for this year’s graduating auxiliary class, which was scheduled for this week, has been postponed.
  • Graduation for this year’s class, which was set for April 30, has been postponed.
  • A chaplain is counseling auxiliary members who are under emotional distress due to the incident.

“Once that investigation ends, the City will evaluate the findings and implement corrective measures,” Woolley said. “It goes without saying that my administration, Taylor Police and the Auxiliary are taking this incident extremely seriously.

7 Action News spoke with the victim, Ben Shotts, by phone from his hospital bed Monday.

"I'm not paralyzed or anything, but I'm pretty shredded up right now, so I have a severe lack of mobility," Shotts said Monday.

The city of Taylor said it will not have any additional comments until after MSP’s investigation.