IRONS, Mich. -- A 19-year old man and his pregnant wife face charges in connection with the shooting death of a Michigan State Police trooper, according to a family member.
Eric Knysz, 19 and his wife Sarah, 21, are jailed following a shootout Monday night in Wellston. Police tracked the pair to a store following the shooting of Trooper Paul Butterfield earlier that evening in Mason County.
Eric's father, John Knysz spoke with WZZM 13 off camera. He apologized for his son's alleged actions and added that the family is incredibly remorseful. John is a former police officer who worked for several years in the Chicago area.
Family friend Demo Moore said Eric had a job as a tree trimmer and had just moved into a new home.
Moore had hoped Eric's brushes with the law were over. "Good paying job trimming trees, wife that is pregnant, just moved into their own place; things were looking up... then this happens."
A search of Knysz records shows that Knysz has a criminal record.
A check of Eric Knysz' criminal record shows:
Guilty Plea on July 31, 2008 to Felony Home Invasion 1st Degree
Guilty Plea on September 4, 2012 to Misdemeanor Operating Impaired
Guilty Plea on March 19, 2013 to Misdemeanor Operating - Violation of License Restrictions and Misdemeanor Weapons (switchblade) - Possession or Sale
Guilty Plea on May 17, 2013 to Misdemeanor Domestic Violence
This information was all obtained from the Michigan State Police website.
Despite his record, Moore said Eric had a good side. "Eric is a good kid, just keeps getting into trouble. There is this other side of him that did not mix."
Knysz' father says Eric borrowed his truck Monday afternoon to go to a doctor appointment in the Ludington area. Then family members and friends were informed of the shooting.
"The damage is done, you can not go back in time and straighten this problem out," said Moore. "It's just too bad-- so devastating."