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Aunt of trooper shooting suspect speaks to Newschannel 3
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Flags are flying at half-staff Wednesday to honor fallen Trooper Paul Butterfield. They will stay that way till he is laid to rest this weekend.
We're told plans are in the works for a funeral Saturday in Manistee.
Family members have confirmed that a young married couple is in custody in connection with the deadly shooting. They've identified the suspects as Eric and Sarah Knysz. Sarah is six-months pregnant.
We are still waiting to learn what charges they face.
We are learning that one of the suspects in this case has reportedly confessed to the shooting and will be arraigned Wednesday morning.
Mary Spoffard tells us there is no doubt that her nephew, her sisters son, pulled the trigger that killed Trooper Paul Butterfield.
She says he has confessed.
Now she says she is trying to be strong for her family and Trooper Butterfield's family as well.
"Words can't express. Words can never express how I feel. Being a vet and Eric's dad being a vet and a former cop we're just in shock," said Mary Spoffard.
Eric Knysz's aunt tells us they tried for years to get him help. She says he has an extremely long and violent history with many arrests, including some arrests for violence against officers, and she says he should have been in prison.
She hopes there is a lesson that can be learned from this tragedy.
"Turn this tragedy into a triumph. Make this officers life worth what he had to pay for. Make my nephew's life of hell. Make Lake County pay for the loss of a good officer. That's all I can do. I mean my family's done. Officer Butterfield's family is done, all we can do is try to help somebody else not go through what we're going through," said Spoffard.
Mary says Eric was shot in the knee when he was arrested and has undergone two surgeries.
She says he will be arraigned by video Wednesday, but that they expect even more charges will be filed against him.