Court Officer Ronald Eugene Kienzle

Court Officer Ronald Eugene Kienzle

Berrien County Trial Court, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, July 11, 2016

Ronald Eugene Kienzle

Court Officer Ron Kienzle and Security Supervisor Joe Zangaro were shot and killed inside the Berrien County Courthouse by an inmate who was attempting to escape at approximately 2:25 pm.

The inmate was being returned to a holding cell following a court appearance when he attacked a sheriff's deputy in the corridor behind the courtroom. Officer Kienzle heard the struggle and ran into the corridor. As soon as he opened the door to the corridor the prisoner shot him with the deputy's service weapon.

The man escaped into a public hallway where he shot a civilian and exchanged shots with two other court officers, killing Supervisor Zangaro, before being killed by return gunfire.

The inmate was in court for two counts of criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, and domestic assault.

Officer Kienzle was a U.S. Army veteran. He had served with the Berrien County Sheriff's Department for 10 years after having retired from the Benton Township Police Department.


  • Age 63
  • Tour 30 years
  • Badge 650
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

escape, sex offender

Most Recent Reflection

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South Carolina C.O.P.S. sends its deepest condolences to your family for your service and sacrifice to the citizens of the State of Michigan! Now, rest in peace, brave warrior!

Lois Rao, President
(South) Carolina C.O.P.S.

November 15, 2016

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