Albion Recorder & Morning Star News

Gov. Whitmer Lowers Flags to Honor Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Deputy William Butler Jr.

Law enforcement officers from all over the state attended funeral services for Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Deputy William “Bill” Butler on July 3 at the Hillsdale College Chapel. A police-escorted procession to the Lakeview Cemetery took place after the service.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer order flags to be lowered throughout the state in honor of Butler who passed away after being shot in the line of duty.

“Deputy Butler was a proud family man, small business owner, and dedicated officer who served both his nation and his neighbors in uniform,” said Whitmer in a press release. “As a Sheriff’s Deputy, he served Hillsdale County admirably, making a real difference in the lives of the people he loved most. As we mourn his loss, our hearts are with his wife, Sarah, their five children, their two grandchildren, and all those who knew and served with him in Hillsdale and overseas.”

Butler graduated from Hillsdale High School and served in the United States Army National Guard for 20 years, serving overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom and later working as a recruiter. He then joined the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office, serving 12 years. Deputy Butler was also the broker-owner and realtor for Pure Realty Team, Hillsdale Real Estate affiliate. Butler is survived by his wife, Sarah, their five children, two grandchildren, his parents, and his sister.

According to a Michigan State Police press release, the shooting happened in Jefferson Township, Hillsdale County. Detectives from the Michigan State Police First District Special Investigation Section are investigating the incident that occurred on June 27 at approximately 2:15 p.m.

A detective sergeant from the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department noticed the driver of a vehicle with active warrants. A deputy sergeant with the Hillsdale County Sherriff Department initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle on Beecher Road near Lamb Road. The vehicle was being driven by a 33-year-old male.

Deputy Butler arrived on scene to assist with the traffic stop. The driver was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant and placed in the patrol vehicle. The passenger, Eric Fiddler refused to identify himself and was removed from the vehicle. Fiddler was identified by one of the officers on scene.

When deputies attempted to take Fiddler into custody a fight ensued and Fiddler produced a handgun from his waistband and fired, striking Deputy Butler. Deputies returned fire and Fiddler fled on foot. Deputies immediately took Bulter to Hillsdale Hospital in their patrol car where he died from his injuries. Officers from numerous agencies converged on the area in search of Fiddler and setting up a perimeter. MSP Aviation, K9 Units, and the MSP Emergency Support Team searched the area. At approximately 6:15 p.m. troopers located Fiddler in a field near Culbert Road and Osseo Rd S. He was ordered to surrender and fired a weapon at troopers. Troopers returned fire, killing Fiddler. No troopers were injured during the engagement.

The MSP First District Investigations Section is conducting the investigation into the shooting of Deputy Butler. The MSP 5th District Special Investigation Section is conducting the investigation into the shooting of Fiddler.

Members of the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department are mourning one of their own, after a traffic stop turned deadly Thursday afternoon.

Jackson County Office of the Sheriff

Today we lay a brother to rest in Hillsdale County.

Our honor guard has had the honor of escorting Deputy Butler and providing guard

for his movements and service today.

We ask that our community joins in sending condolences and support to our neighbors in Hillsdale during this difficult time.

May Deputy William Bill Butler rest in eternal peace. We have the watch from here brother

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