Ex-Grand Rapids Officer Who Fatally Shot Patrick Lyoya Will Stand Trial For Murder


A former Grand Rapids police officer has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya after a judge said there are questions that must be decided by a jury.

Chris Schurr is charged with second-degree murder for the killing of Lyoya, 26.

No one disputes that Schurr killed Lyoya during a traffic stop on April 4. What is in question is whether it constituted murder. Schurr’s defense team is arguing he acted in accordance with departmental policy and in self-defense. Judge Nicholas Ayoub said that is a decision that must be made by a jury.

“…Factual questions remain as to whether defendant reasonably believed that his life was in imminent danger (or that he was in imminent danger of suffering great bodily harm) and that deadly force was reasonably necessary. These are questions of fact that the jury must decide based on the totality of the circumstances as presented by the evidence at trial,” Ayoub’s decision reads in part.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker anticipated appeals by the defense, saying that would likely delay a trial.

Lyoya’s family’s attorneys have argued he repeatedly failed to de-escalate the situation and instead escalated it. In charging Schurr with second-degree murder, the prosecutor said the shooting could not be justified by self-defense.

In two days of a preliminary hearing last week, the court heard from Taser experts, Grand Rapids Police Department officers, people who live near where the shooting happened and the passenger who was in Lyoya’s car before he was killed. After the defense and prosecution laid out their arguments, Ayoub said he needed to review all evidence and applicable laws before he decided if the case would be bound over to trial. He announced his decision Monday morning.

Schurr, 31, of Grandville, was fired from GRPD after being charged in June.

Read the decision here