No criminal charges for deputy in fatal Ishpeming Township shooting

MARQUETTE – Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese announced today there will be no criminal charges authorized against the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office deputy who fatally shot a suicidal Ishpeming Township man last week.

According to a press release from Wiese, Deputy Keith Romback’s decision to use lethal force against the man, identified as 68-year-old Clifford Leroy Tucker, was found to be justified, as Romback was in danger of being killed or seriously injured.

Romback responded to Tucker’s residence at about 9 a.m. June 9 following reports that he was suicidal.

Upon arriving at the home at 245 Silver St. in Ishpeming Township, Tucker approached Romback with a shotgun, according to investigative reports by the Michigan State Police and cited by Wiese in the release.

Romback repeatedly asked Tucker to lower the weapon, telling him, “don’t do this.” As Tucker advanced toward Romback, he reportedly pleaded, “just shoot me.”

Romback discharged his service weapon four times at Tucker and called for an ambulance. He was transported to UP Health System-Marquette where he was later pronounced dead. Romback was uninjured.

According to a previous press release from Sheriff Michael Lovelace, Tucker had reportedly called the hospital earlier that day to say that he was in severe pain and was planning on taking his own life.

Under Michigan law, a person has the right to use force or kill another individual in self-defense.

Following a review of the case by Wiese, evidence supported the conclusion that Romback was in danger. He was the only officer on scene at the time of the shooting, although back up from other law enforcement personnel arrived shortly after.

“Under the circumstances, it appears that he was justified in his action as he was in imminent danger and acted immediately to defend himself,” Wiese said in the release.

Wiese referred to the shooting as a “tragic incident resulting in the loss of life,” but said that it is not a criminal matter and that no criminal charges will be filed.