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Posted on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

Break-in suspect shot dead by police identified

By John Counts


Police say Kevin William Hassell drove this 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix from a home he was breaking into to his own Green Oak Township home where police shot and killed him.

AP photo


Kevin Hassell


Police have released the name of a man killed in a shootout with police just north of Whitmore Lake in Livingston County's Green Oak Township Monday.

Kevin Hassell, 31, was shot dead inside his home in the 8200 block of Twilight Drive after exchanging gunfire with police officers, said Lt. Michael McCormick of the Michigan State Police.

An officer from Green Oak Township police and a state police trooper chased Hassell to the residence from a home on Bishop Road. Hassell is believed to have been breaking into the house, police said.

The two officers, both men, followed Hassell into his house and the three engaged in a shootout resulting in Hassell's death, McCormick said. Neither officer was shot, but the trooper suffered a sprained wrist, he said.

Because multiple shots were fired it hasn't been determined which one of the officers — or both — shot the fatal round or rounds that killed Hassell.

“We’re still processing the forensics evidence,” he added.

Police were not releasing how many times Hassell was shot.

Both officers have been placed on leave following the shooting per protocol, McCormick said. The Green Oak Township officer is an eight-year police veteran. The trooper has been with the state police for 12 years.

The shooting comes less than a week after a state police trooper shot and killed Gabriel Stevenson, 18, of Ypsilanti Feb. 12 after he crashed his car into a house and lunged at police with a knife, police said.

“They’re doing fine," McCormick said about personnel at the Brighton post who don't commonly deal with fatal shootings involving troopers so close together. "The post morale is still good.”

Monday's incident started around 4:30 p.m. when a citizen called police to report a break-in on Bishop.

“He indicated that someone was breaking into the residence,” McCormick said.

The two responding officers located and gave chase to the fleeing Hassell, who was driving a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix, police said.

McCormick said the Green Oak officer was on patrol at the time and the trooper "just happened to be in the area."

The officers pursued Hassell a short distance to his house on Twilight Drive and chased him inside.

"Gunfire erupted at that time,” McCormick said.

Police were could not confirm if there was anyone else in the house at the time Hassell was shot dead by the officers. Media outlets are reporting Hassell lived at the home with his mother.

At some point during the incident, the state trooper injured his wrist and required medical treatment. McCormick said the sprain was "very minor."

Police were not releasing information about the breaking and entry incident that preceded the shooting. It's unknown if Hassell gained entry into the home, if anything was taken or if anyone was there at the time.

The Livingston County Major Crimes Task Force is investigating the attempted home invasion while the state police are investigating the shooting, McCormick said.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Nancy Powell-Caincross

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

First of all, as a legal registered gun owner and CPL holder I hope and pray that I never have to shoot anyone as life is precious. If this guy was an innocent person and maybe just turning around in the driveway, he should not have ran from the police and maybe he would still be alive. He ran, he was armed. I have sympathy for the loss of a loved to his family.

John Counts

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

He does indeed, Susan Ursas. There are convictions for larceny in a building, forgery and a several for uttering and publishing. In most cases that I've been familiar with on the police and court beat, uttering and publishing charges generally arise from writing bad checks, though I'm not sure if that's the case here.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Law enforcement: 1, bad guys: 0. Guess who's usually going to win when there is a confrontation? Thank you to the men and women of law enforcement for putting their lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe!!

Susan Ursus

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

According to OTIS, Hassell has (had) a lengthy criminal history.

A A Resident

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

Was it really a wise decision to chase him into the house? Why was this necessary? It exposed the police to huge and unnecessary risks, and resulted in the administering of capital punishment without a trial.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

more fail. How are the officers supposed to know that the shooter is running into his mother's house? I bet if it were your house, you'd be wondering why they didn't run in after him to save you or your family.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

Come on, people! Mr. Hassell may not have been a saint, but his was still a human life lost. He was important to somebody. A little consideration and compassion for his mourners, please.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

If only he would have shown the same consideration for the police he tried to kill.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 3:52 a.m.

people need to learn , you cant win if start a fight.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 3:51 a.m.

haha anything is possible but IM sure Kevin shut first because cops are model citizens . IM just promoting Independence of thinking!! or comic relief .

Fat Bill

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

"The two officers, both men"....? Officer is a gender-neutral title. Why, especially in 2013, did this sentence ever make it past the editor...?


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 3 a.m.

I wondered the same, Fat Bill--what is the significance of that clarification?


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

Better ONE thug gone than 2 Officers.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 12:53 a.m.

Don't hassel the cops!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

gene malloy is your boy.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

I am surprised that the officers ran after him into the house. Seems like they both could have been shot when they entered. Just a thought.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:30 p.m.

For those that are confused. Mr Hassell was not killed while committing an act of civil disobedience. As far as I can tell he was not protesting his taxes, a historical district or new gun law proposals. Nor was he engaged in a sit-in in opposition to or in favor of the Civil Rights Act. From what I can tell, he was involved in a suspected crime, a burglary. Upon being spotted by the police he fled, ran into a house, was pursued by the police and then was involved in a gun fight with those police. As pointed out, even if he fired not one shot, the act of pointing a gun at a cop is a crime and a threat of deadly force against those police. This kind of action rarely ends well for anybody. Some call it "suicide by cop". (there is even a Wiki page for it!) Mr Hasells family will now have to deal with the results of his actions, as will the policeman/men that took his life in self defense. It is a sad situation all around, but only one person is responsible for the end result. Dealing with police 101: Pull over. do as asked. If you feel like you are being harassed/threatened by the police, continue to do as asked. THEN call a lawyer. The courts still function in the USA, you will get your chance in court. Do NOT attempt to shoot it out with the cops, it is bad form.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

Well said


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

I didn't realize posting links to OTIS was against policy. Why is it okay to post Facebook links?


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

I agree that's odd that would be against policy, especially considering the photo in this story matches the one on OTIS... Facebook links should surely not be ok if a government record isn't.

A A Resident

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

"Gunfire erupted at that time," McCormick said." There is no mention of who shot first, or if the suspect fired at all, or was even brandishing a weapon.

Ricardo Queso

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

Again, only in the movies does a law office "wait until the other shoots first". Brandishing a weapon is a threat of deadly force.

John Counts

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Police did not indicate to me who shot first, but Hassell did indeed shoot at the officers. The story says they "exchanged" gunfire in a "shootout."


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:06 p.m.

On the other hand:


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

No, there wasn't.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Well it's to bad, but a least he will not be housed with our money!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Some of his Facebook pictures are viewable by non-friends. He's got multiple pics up of automatic weapons (that he presumably owns), as well as a few pictures of a large stack of money.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

please educate yourself on what an automatic weapon is please

Angry Moderate

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

Automatic weapons, you sure about that?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

Can convicted felons on firearms?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.



Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

One less thug to worry about.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

@Hepcat - You do realize that photo of him is from the MDOC and therefore he is most likely a felon, which in the great state of Michigan, makes it illegal to own a firearm. I hope you never come face to face with someone so desperate they are willing to shoot at the cops, you might reconsider your anti-gun stance.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

One less gun owner to worry about.

John Counts

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Hassell does have quite a lengthy criminal past, which can be glimpsed on OTIS (the state's Offender Tracking Information System): I asked state police if Hassell was suspected of any other crimes in that general area or if he had any connection to the house he was allegedly trying to break into. Lt. McCormick said all of that was under investigation.

zip the cat

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

It just blows me away that these punks think the can shoot it out with law enforcement and come out a winner. Just dumb and dumber at its best. Keep up the good work there Mr police officers,whom ever you are.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 3:20 a.m.

He's not a thug u didn't no him so stop!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

You don't have to be smart to be a gun owner.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Why wouldn't they think like that? Listen to talk radio, all day they will tell you about how evil the government is and how it is your RIGHT to take up arms against union "thugs"and other government powers that be. Then we have Arnold and Sly shooting it out with uniformed types on the Big Screen. (Rambo took on the police and was victorious!) Ted Nugent has an ongoing rant against the government. Even now the NRA is out there explaining why it is that average citizens need more firepower.

Mulberry Bank

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

Is anyone concerned that it seems more citizens are dying when in difficulties with our Protect and Serve Officers? Not saying the dead ones were good-citizens, but why all the shooting? If you HAVE-to I understand, but is your weapon your only tool? Talk him down, wait him out. Think. Did Mr Hassell even fire his gun? I do not know him and am not supporting him, but he ran home to mama. I'm just saying....could you not out-think them? Or just wound them?

Stupid Hick

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Mulberry Bank is right to ask whether Hassell even fired his gun. It might be wise to withhold judgement until a more detailed report is released. Recall that just a couple weeks ago the police TWICE fired at cars with unarmed passengers in California while searching for Chris Dorner. Just a couple months ago, Cleveland cops killed two unarmed people in a car in a school parking lot. They thought they were under fire, but it turns out they were the only ones doing the shooting:


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 3:07 a.m.

Yes, fish! Ah, but only in my ideal world! The dastardly thug would then, of course, accept the challenge to be a contestant in a battle of wits and most likely fail miserably leading to much public humiliation (and a jail sentence).


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Perhaps the officers could challenge them to a riddle contest instead of shooting back.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Mulberry Bank--HELLO!!! Are you serious?? What do you want the police to do--sit down with him and have tea and cookies? He knew what the consequenses were and he lost.

Ricardo Queso

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

No, and "just wound them" only happens in the movies. And can you please cite your source for "more citizens dying" or is this just conjecture?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:58 p.m.

Cops would never just kill a guy then claim that the guy shot at them first. Inside the guys house. That's for sure.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Yes, I am very concerned.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

No, I am not concerned that people that attack police officers are being harmed. I learned at a really young age to not shoot at cops. Bad things happen.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

To answer your first question, I am not concerned.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Mulberry Bank, What don't you understand about after "exchanging gunfire with police?"


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

SOOO much fail!!!

John Counts

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Hassell indeed shot at the two police officers.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

I think we have the answer to the question which goes: Should I point a gun at the police officers who're pursuing me after I broke into that house a few minutes ago? Hmm, decisions, decisions and so hard to choose the right one.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

Did this guy play any sports in High School?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

I'm glad this is over. It always scares the heck out of me when i hear about a suspect driving the same make/color car that i drive.

Mr. Ed

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

"Police were not releasing how many times Hassell was shot." Why would it matter if he was shot once or 60 times. I say shoot until you run out of bullets.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

I would think that you should shoot until the threat was neutralized and then cease shooting. You don't want to have another combatant appear out of a back room when you have an empty magazine.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

I'm with Mr. Ed


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

That would be incorrect and problematic. You shoot until the threat is over. Anything after, even for law enforcement rightfully should be fully investigated.