U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Fallen Officer James Bonneau, Jackson Police Department, Michigan

Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery

On March 9, 2010, Officer James Bonneau responded to a domestic disturbance call and was interviewing the suspect when the suspect began to show acts of aggression in his voice and demeanor.  Officer Bonneau and a township officer began to give verbal commands to the suspect who was not complying. The suspect charged at both police officers from approximately 10 feet.  During the encounter, the suspect attempted numerous times to get to the opposite end of the couch as the officers tried to subdue him. While on his knees, the suspect reached under the couch cushion and obtained a loaded 357-caliber handgun.  The suspect fired one round as the gun lay near his chest striking the door.

Unaware of where the shot came from the officers immediately checked their holsters to ensure their weapons were secured.  A split second later, the suspect spun the weapon to his right side and fired a round striking the township officer in the upper thigh.  The suspect then immediately spun to his left and fired a second round striking Officer Bonneau through his bicep where the bullet entered his chest cavity.  The township officer was then able to fire two rounds killing the suspect.

Though mortally wounded, Officer Bonneau relayed information to central dispatch indicating that there had been shots fired and that officers were down.  He was also able to communicate that the suspect was down to incoming backup officers.  Even though Officer Bonneau was shot in a vital area, he showed bravery and fortitude to give a tactical update to central dispatch and incoming backup officers.  His actions were to ensure that officers responding knew what was occurring so that a tactical response could be made. Officer Bonneau continued his tactical updates until the first officer arrived. Officer James Bonneau died from his injuries later that night.

Press Releases