Autopsy shows Patrick Lyoya was shot in the back of the head after encounter with officer, family attorneys say


Lyoya and the officer, who has not been publicly identified, had a physical encounter following a traffic stop.

“Today, based on scientific evidence, we can confirm that Patrick Lyoya was shot in the back of his head,” attorney Benjamin Crump said Tuesday in a news conference. “That is now scientific evidence of this tragic killing and what his family believes was an execution.”

Forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, who performed the autopsy, attended the news conference to present his findings. Lyoya “died as a result of a single gunshot wound with entrance wound in the back of the head,” he said.

According to Spitz’s report, which was read aloud by Crump, Lyoya “was conscious and aware of the fact that a gun was being held to the back of his head. Death was instantaneous when the gun was fired.”

Patrick Lyoya shooting witness: 'I knew it wasn't gonna end well'
An official death certificate, including the cause and manner of Lyoya’s death, has yet to be released. The report has been prepared, Kent County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen D. Cohle said in a statement last week, but it won’t be completed until the results of toxicology and tissue tests have been received from a contracted laboratory.

The Kent County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday it is still awaiting the test results.

“Once the report is finalized, it will be turned over to the Michigan State Police,” a statement said, adding the death certificate won’t be publicly available until state police conclude an investigation.

Lyoya’s death, like those of other unarmed Black men at the hands of police, prompted protests, with demonstrators chanting, “Justice for Patrick.”

Lyoya’s family has called for the officer to be prosecuted. The officer is on paid leave and his police powers have been suspended, the Grand Rapids police chief has said.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: The Bloggers Briefing