Police Officer of the Year Awards
Joe Wojcik and Jason Zuk
On November 3, 2018, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office was requested to investigate an officer-involved shooting in Shelby Township, Michigan.
The day before, the Shelby Township Police Department responded to a call from the Spring Land Apartments for an Unauthorized Driving Away of Automobile (UDAA). The complainant reported that her 2005 Honda vehicle had been stolen from her residence. She listed her son as the suspect, noting that he did not have a valid driver’s license and was currently using illegal narcotics. Another family member later spoke to the son, who replied saying “he would not be taken alive and made mention of suicide by cop” if the police showed up.
While on patrol in the apartment complex, Shelby Township Police Officer Joe Wojcik discovered the stolen vehicle. When backup arrived, the officers approached the vehicle and gave verbal commands to the suspect. Ignoring the commands, the suspect abruptly exited the vehicle, reached towards his jacket pockets, and stated he had a gun.
The suspect was given numerous commands by the officers to show his hands but continued making movements that were consistent with reaching for a weapon. Realizing the suspect had no intention of complying with the officers on scene and posed a lethal threat to everyone involved, Shelby Township Police Officer Jason Zuk discharged a single round from his department-issued shotgun, striking the son. The officers immediately rendered aid to the suspect, who was then transported to the closest area hospital and was later pronounced dead.
Although the suspect claimed to have been armed during the incident, there was no gun found on the son or in the vehicle. Officer dashcam footage/audio and multiple witness interviews confirmed this.
Shelby Township Police Officers’ Joe Wojcik and Jason Zuk, the Police Officers Association of Michigan recognizes your act of duty and valor. With exemplifying the finest traditions of the law enforcement profession, we are honored to have you both as recipients for the 2019 Police Officer of the Year Award.
Read about a Previous Award Recipient: 2018 POAM Police Officer Of The Year Award: Scott Morgan & Max Christe, Livonia POA