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Kent County Prosecutor: shooting justified

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The fatal shooting of a 30-year-old man with mental lillness during a struggle with a sheriff's deputy in Kent County has been ruled justified. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says in a report released Tuesday that Deputy Jason Wiersma shot Jonathan Sper to protect Sper's adult brother.

Wiersma and a second deputy were called Jan. 24 to the Algoma Township home after the brother refused to allow Sper into the house. The deputies said they fought with Sper in a garage. Becker wrote that Wiersma mistakenly believed Sper had a sharp object and ordered him to drop it. He said Wiersma was concerned Sper would attack his brother inside the house.

Becker also wrote that Sper suffered from a mental illness and had been drinking.

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