(09/03/2007)
A Jackson County man was shot and killed by a state trooper late Saturday night, the agency said he refused to drop his weapon.

Dead is Michael Fisher, 35, who tried to commit suicide earlier this summer by jumping into the Ohio River after his 4-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son drowned.

WTAP-TV News says members of Fisher's family are giving a much different account of the shooting than the State Police, asking "Was Michael Fisher murdered by a state trooper?" a claim given by family members.

Fisher was steering a small boat that collided with a barge in heavy fog near Ravenswood. Killed in the accident were his children, Samantha and Jesse Fisher, and sister-in-law Jennifer Posten.

Two days later, Fisher jumped from the William S. Ritchie Jr. Bridge after negotiating with police for 45 minutes, he survived the 75-100 foot fall.

State Police say an unidentified trooper was responding to an un-related call and heard gunshots coming from the Fisher residence on Windale Ridge near Ripley.

In an official statement by Sgt. S. E. Wolfe of the State Police, "The trooper gave several lawful commands to have him drop his weapon and an altercation ensued, which resulted in Mr. Fischer sustaining fatal gunshot wounds that led to his death."

A report on WTAP-TV said Dustin Haynes, a witness, said the trooper first shot Fisher three times. "Michael hit the ground and the cop got out of the car and shot him three more times."

Fisher's family says he was in the front yard firing off some shots into the air when a state police trooper came up the driveway, according to TV-13.

The family said Fisher was "letting off steam" by shooting the gun in the air.

The Charleston Gazette reported father-in-law Johnny Haynes said "He didn't mean to hurt nobody."

Jill Fisher said when her husband realized a State Police cruiser was approaching the house, he "slung the gun" to his right before walking toward the trooper with his hands in the air.

Her nephew, 15-year-old Dustin Haynes, alleged that the trooper started firing his gun at Fisher even as his vehicle was still moving, according to the Gazette.

"How hard is it when you throw your hands up, you don't have to unload a clip in a man," said Michael's wife Jill . "Especially when there's a 10-year-old and 15-year-old standing behind me saying don't shoot, don't shoot," she said.

Dustin Haynes and Jill Fisher allege the trooper then left the cruiser and stood over Fisher, shooting him three times at point-blank range.

"Six [bullets] went in him and three hit the house," Jill Fisher said.

The trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave while State Police complete an internal investigation.


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