Trial date set for ex-Grand Rapids police officer in fatal Patrick Lyoya shooting

Christopher Schurr to stand trial for 2nd-degree murder

Ex-Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr listens as Judge Nicholas Ayoub binds the case for trial at the Kent County Courthouse in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (Cory Morse/ Grand Rapids Press via AP, Pool) (Cory Morse,

A trial date has been set for the former Grand Rapids police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop earlier this year.

The trial of ex-officer Christopher Schurr has been scheduled to begin on March 13, 2023. Schurr was charged in June with second-degree murder after shooting Lyoya in the back of the head, killing him, during a traffic stop on April 4.

Judge Nicholas Ayoub ruled in October that Schurr would stand trial on the charge. Ayoub said a jury will decide if the former officer’s use of deadly force was necessary “after a full and fair trial.”

“There is little doubt that Lyoya’s death was caused by the gunshot wound to the head,” the judge said. “The defendant knew that he was pointing the gun and firing it at close range at Lyoya’s head.”

Lyoya was a refugee from Congo who was pulled over by then-officer Schurr because his license plate reportedly didn’t match the vehicle he was driving.

Lyoya briefly ran from Schurr during the traffic stop, then struggled with him across a front lawn. Schurr then shot Lyoya at point-blank range after several failed attempts with a taser.

The incident was captured on video by Aime Tuyishime, a man riding passenger in Lyoya’s car at the time of the incident.


Schurr’s attorneys have argued that the ex-officer’s use of force was justified in accordance with Grand Rapids Police Department policy. Lyoya’s family’s attorneys have argued that Schurr repeatedly failed to de-escalate the situation and instead escalated it.

“The only real debatable question is whether the defendant’s actions were justified under the law,” Judge Ayoub said.

Schurr was fired by the police department after being charged with second-degree murder. Lyoya’s family has since filed a $100 million civil rights lawsuit, alleging the then-officer only pulled the man over because of his skin color.

Read more: Family sues over police killing of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.