Saginaw, MI – An armed fugitive issued a chilling greeting just before he shot a veteran Saginaw Township police officer in the face during a traffic stop in January.
Saginaw Township Police Officer Jeff Koenig recounted the harrowing events of the predawn traffic stop during Rosebush’s preliminary examination hearing on March 7.
Officer Koenig, 48, testified that he was patrolling along Tittabawassee Road at approximately 2 a.m. on Jan. 22, when he spotted a white Dodge Ram pulling out of a Marathon parking lot without its headlights activated.
The officer pulled in front of the pickup, then slowed down and moved into a left turn lane so the driver could pass by him.
But the driver still failed to activate the vehicle’s headlights, so Officer Koenig pulled in behind the pickup and initiated a traffic stop.
“It was a simple traffic stop,” the 16-year department veteran testified. “Tell him to turn his lights on and go home.”
He ran Rosebush’s license plate to ensure the vehicle wasn’t stolen, then approached the driver’s side window of the pickup.
“I believe I said something; I don’t recall exactly what I said,” Officer Koenig testified. “He said, ‘Nighty night,’ and fired the shot into my face.”
He was standing just a foot or two away from Rosebush when the bullet tore into the right side of his face.
“I didn’t see anything. I felt the impact, heard the round, and I went down,” the veteran officer recalled.
He immediately began to scramble for cover, as Rosebush fired a second round into his right shoulder.
Officer Koenig said he does not even recall hearing the second gunshot, but he remembers the force of the bullet impacting his shoulder.
“It happened so quickly,” he testified. “The vehicle started to move. I pulled my firearm and fired two rounds.”
As Rosebush sped off, Officer Koenig alerted over his radio that he had been shot.
His fellow officers raced to the scene, and rushed him to a hospital in a patrol vehicle.
Officer Koenig was taken into surgery, and doctors removed teeth, bullet fragments and bone from his face, as well as the bullet lodged in his shoulder, he testified.
He still has a bullet fragment in his sinus cavity.
According to investigators, Rosebush ditched the pickup in Kochville Township shortly after the shooting, then stole an AID Construction Equipment pickup truck, MLive reported.
Police later found the business’s abandoned truck in a Home Depot parking lot in Flint, and learned that Rosebush caught a ride with someone from there, according to WJRT.
His ride dropped him off in the town of Burton, where he walked to a nearby Speedway gas station and stole a white commercial van.
About 30 minutes later, Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Detective Lieutenant Scott Shenk spotted the van pulling off of Interstate 69 at the Woodbury Road exit, and followed the suspect into Woodhull Township, MLive reported.
Rosebush stopped the van between Braden Road and Lansing Road, then got out and pointed a handgun at the lieutenant.
Lt. Shenk immediately fired two rounds, striking Rosebush once in the face, MLive reported.
He was treated for his wound at a hospital in Lansing.
While hospitalized, he agreed to speak with Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant David Rivard, and provided a recorded confession, MLive reported.
In the recording, which was played during the hearing, Rosebush cried and said he has been in an out of prison for more than a decade.
He said that he began receiving notices that he would be arrested if he didn’t pay the money he owed to the court, so he decided to abscond from probation.
“I already did a decade,” he said through sobs. “Anyway, I stole somebody’s car. I cut my tethers off and I ran for it.”
Rosebush said he hid out in his sister’s camper for a while, and that he eventually stole a .380 handgun from inside the center console of someone’s vehicle.
He told Sgt. Rivard that he came across the white Dodge Ram and found the keys inside, so he stole it and took off to McDonald’s.
“I went to get McDonald’s and forgot to turn on my headlights,” Rosebush said. “That’s why he stopped me. I went to a gas station to get a beer as I was eating McDonald's. I know I shouldn’t have been drinking and driving, but it was only one Pabst.”
Rosebush admitted that he shot Officer Koenig almost immediately upon contact, and that he didn’t even give the officer the opportunity to say anything to him.
“I didn’t give him time,” he said. “I shot him point blank in the face…twice...I can still see the man.”
Later during the interview, Sgt. Rivard told Rosebush that Officer Koenig was hospitalized in serious condition.
“He didn’t die?” he asked the sergeant, breaking down into tears. “Oh my god. Oh my god. It’s gonna be so much worse.”
After the recording played in court, the judge granted prosecution’s request to add two more counts to the litany of charges against Rosebush.
He now faces a total of 28 charges, including two counts of assault with intent to murder.
If convicted, Rosebush faces up to life in prison.
The longtime felon has been convicted of over a dozen crimes in the past, 10 of which landed him in prison, MLive reported.
Rosebush’s history with the Michigan Department of Corrections began in July of 2010, when he was convicted of three counts of breaking and entering, according to MDOC records.
He was sentenced for assaulting/resisting/obstructing a peace officer in 2012, and racked up new convictions for larceny and two counts of stealing or retaining a financial transaction device without consent in 2013.
The most recent sentence came in March of 2016, when a Tuscola County judge sentenced him to prison for two to 15 years for assaulting or obstructing a public officer and two counts of stealing or retaining a financial transaction device without consent, according MDOC records.
The MDOC turned him lose on parole in April of 2018, and placed him on electronic monitoring.
By Jan. 3, he’d cut off his monitoring device and absconded from supervision, MLive reported.
He also became the prime suspect in a slew of vehicle thefts in Marlette and Vassar around the same time frame.