He had been with Grand Rapids for seven years after being a pole vaulter at a small college. He also married his long-term girlfriend on a church mission to Africa.
Since Christopher Schurr's face was captured in video of the April 4 confrontationwith Lyoya (a Black man), his name has been circulated. His identity was not publicly disclosed until Monday when the chief of police released it. This came three days after intense demands were made at the funeral for the 26-year old Congo native.
Chief Eric Winstrom stated that he was acting in the "interest of transparency, to decrease ongoing speculation and to avoid any further confusion", though no additional information was available about Schurr’s service to the department.
Lyoya was unarmed and lying face down when he was shot in his back. This happened just moments after a traffic stop at Michigan's second largest city. Schurr was right there, and you can hear him demanding that Lyoya take the Taser from the white officer.
An autopsy was performed by a forensic pathologist at Lyoya’s request. He stated that the gun was held to Lyoya's forehead when he was killed.
Lyoya's family demands that Schurr be fired and indicted. Chris Becker, the prosecutor, said that he is waiting for the report from state police.
"I want the right thing. Becker explained to MLive.com that even if I do the right things, there will be a section of the population who is unhappy."
Reports WZZM13.com: A few hours after Schurr was named, a group marched to the police headquarters and made repeated calls for Schurr to be charged.
"We want him behind bars," Nicko, Black Activists United was quoted as saying by the station.
Bri, who is also with Black Activists United, stated that justice will not be served if our voices aren't heard. "Our voices as communities have a huge role and a major part in this." Everyone needs to hear our voices.
Monday's phone call to Schurr by the Associated Press sought comment. Schurr is currently not on the job as state police investigate the shooting. Over the past week, the Associated Press reached out to Schurr several times. This included knocking on his suburban door. The AP did not get a response.
Schurr, 31 years old, was raised in Byron Center, south of Grand Rapids. He joined the police force in 2015. After attending Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan, he studied accounting.
According to Siena Heights' alumni journal, he won the NAIA national title with a vault clearance of 17 feet, 3/4 inch and was awarded the university's scholar athlete award as a junior.
According to a 2014 Vaulter Magazine story, Schurr was active in his church as a young man, going on missionary trips for Corinth Reformed Church, Byron Center.
Schurr stated that he was getting married in the year 2000 and couldn't afford a wedding celebration or a separate trip to Kisi (Kenya) to build homes. So he chose to get married there.
Schurr stated to the magazine, "We're going do a wedding their way." "I already have an African outfit and my fiancee will choose some fabric to make a Kenyan-style gown.
An account on Twitter with his name appears to be associated with the officer. It follows several national track and field athletes including a pole vaulter. The account does not have any Tweets. An account on Facebook with Schurr's name appears removed.
Ryan Hopson, a college teammate, stated that Schurr was calm and quiet in college. He was friendly and quick with smiles.
Hopson stated that Hopson "always had a positive vibe." Hopson said, "I can't speak highly enough of him. It's impossible. ... It was me that was surprised to see, but I have no idea what it's like being a cop with my life at stake."
It was a reverse decision by the police department to reveal Schurr’s name. Winstrom said that he would not release the name of the officer unless he was convicted of a crime after the video of the shooting was released. It was described by Winstrom as a long-standing policy that applied to both city employees and the public.
Lyoya's family, Black leaders, and the Rev. Al Sharpton repeatedly demanded it, even at Lyoya’s funeral which drew 1000 people on Friday.
We want his name! Sharpton shouted, stating that authorities can't withhold the names of officers who have killed people unless they are charged.
Ven Johnson, an attorney representing the family, stated that Lyoya should now know Schurr's full name. However, he laughed at the chief of police for citing "transparency".
Demonstrators were peaceful, but loud, as they marched through the streets demanding that the officer's name is released after the video was.
It's not transparent if you keep something hidden for three weeks. Johnson stated that Johnson was quite wrong. Johnson stated, "It's cops taking good care of the cops rather than treating it as a normal investigation."
After Lyoya’s funeral, Grand Rapids' City Manager Mark Washington acknowledged that the city wanted the name of the officer and promised to discuss the matter with Winstrom as well as the city's employment officials.
Grand Rapids is a town of approximately 200,000 people, located in western Michigan, 160 mi west of Detroit.