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Motive remains unclear in State Trooper shooting
LUDINGTON, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The biggest question, after two days of digging, remains why a newly married, soon-to-be father, with no outstanding warrants, murder a Michigan State Trooper over a traffic violation.
Wednesday night, Newschannel 3 found records showing what a number of our state police sources agree is likely the start of a chain reaction leading to State Trooper Paul Butterfield's death.
The call of 'officer down' brought a furious response, and resident Herman Wilson says the scene was impossible to ignore.
"We look down the road and there's just all kinds of lights going," Wilson said. "Then we see a helicopter going by."
But nothing prepared him for learning a State Trooper was murdered a stone's throw from his home.
"What it tells me is there are crazy people going up and down this road, and you just don't know," Wilson said.
The biggest unknown remains motive--something the Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola couldn't help with this afternoon.
"We've been discussing that quite a bit," Spaniola said. "Nothing I can share with you at this time."
But suspect Eric Knysz's driving record shows his license was suspended in July.
It also shows the suspension ended at midnight on September 9th, 5 hours after Trooper Butterfield was killed.
State Police sources tell Newschannel 3 the consensus is Knysz got spooked, knowing he was driving suspended, feared he would be arrested, found with a revolver stashed in his father's truck, and sent to prison for felon in possession of a firearm.
Whether or not that will be argued at trial is unknown.
We are hoping to learn more about possible motive in the days to come.
The next step is Knysz's arraignment, which is scheduled for Thursday morning.