Deputy Noah Susick
At approximately 10 p.m. on the evening of December 1, 2019, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department received multiple 911 calls from a residence in Comstock Township reporting an armed intruder. A woman with a young child were hiding from an intruder, secretly making the calls to 911. The woman’s husband was being held by the armed invader.
Responding to the call were officers from Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police, and Kalamazoo Public Safety as well as the Kalamazoo Metro SWAT team. Approximately 45 minutes after the initial 911 calls were made, officers heard gunfire in the house. The officers decided it was imperative to enter the home in an attempt to save the hostages.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy Noah Susick was one of the first officers to the hostage scene. He took up a perimeter location with a view into the entryway of the residence. From this location, he observed three fellow officers in the residence’s entryway he believed to be in harm’s way. He took the initiative to immediately go back to his vehicle to retrieve his ballistic shield. He then entered the home with the intent of protecting the three officers already in the house.
Deputy Susick then had one of the officers go back outside and take a cover position to protect officers still in the home with him. While Deputy Susick set up the ballistic shield, the suspect began to shoot multiple rounds in the direction of the officers. He and the other officers were struck by the suspect’s rounds. He heroically kept the ballistic shield up, protecting himself and the other officers while they retreated from the home to a protected area where they could assess their wounds. None of the injuries to the officers were life-threatening. Sadly, however, the homeowner was killed in the exchange. The suspect was apprehended when he tried to escape from the home. The wife and child were recovered safely.
If it has not been for quick thinking and take the bull by the horn attitude by Deputy Susick, things would have turned out differently. It is evident by the number of rounds that hit the protective ballistic shield the officers would have succumbed to the gunfire.
Deputy Susick, the Police Officers Association of Michigan commends your heroic actions and utmost professionalism by awarding you our 2019 Police Officers of the Year award.