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Clearcreek Officer Shot in the Head, in Critical Condition—Police

Newsweek logo Newsweek 7/13/2022 Chloe Mayer
Stock image shows police car lights at night city street. A police officer is fighting for his life after being shot in the head by a suspect in Clearcreek Township, Ohio. © iStock Stock image shows police car lights at night city street. A police officer is fighting for his life after being shot in the head by a suspect in Clearcreek Township, Ohio.

A police officer is fighting for his life after being shot in the head on Tuesday night when he tried to apprehend a suspect during a domestic violence callout.

After he was shot, his partner opened fire and killed the gunman outside the home in Warren County, Ohio. The severely wounded officer, a 14-year veteran of the force who has not been publicly identified, was airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital, where he remains in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit [ICU].

Clearcreek Township Chief of Police John Terrill held an impromptu briefing with the press and told assembled journalists that officers had been called to the property on the OH-48, where a husband was ramming his wife's car with an All-Terrain Vehicle. He did not specify whether the woman was in her car at the time. Officers have attended the address previously, he added, over multiple domestic violence callouts.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations [BCI] is investigating, as is usual in officer-involved shootings.

Terrill's statement to journalists, which was filmed by WLWT-News 5 and shared online, said: "BCI is here processing our scene, we'll be doing that through the night. The officer was careflighted to the hospital and [they'll] be attending to what he's got there... He's been here about 14 years.

"Part of the domestic [incident] was that the individual who was killed was ramming his wife's car with an ATV, and that was part of the domestic that we answered. We've had other calls here [previously]... [The wounded officer's] shot was to the head, so we're not sure quite how this going to turn out yet."

Discussing the officer who returned fire on the suspect, he said: "It was a sergeant, she's a female. She was not hurt, but she did shoot and kill the attacker."


Video: Bodycam shows officer react after she fatally shoots man with knife (The Independent)

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Terrill had previously said his officer was in "critical condition in the ICU."

The Ohio BCI will turn over its findings to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell. Local station WXIX reported Fornshell as saying: "An officer-involved lethal use of force incident, when it results in a death, is a tragedy—regardless of whether the officer's actions ultimately end up being determined to be justified.

"Today is just a very clear reminder of how dangerous the job has become. We used to go several years between these types of incidents. Now they're happening hours apart."

Newsweek has reached out to the Clearcreek Township Police Department for further information.

Clearcreek Township, which is one of 11 townships in Warren County, recorded a population of just over 17,000 in 2020. Tuesday's incident is the first officer-involved shooting in the 47-year history of the Clearcreek Township Police Department, Terrill said.

Gun crime is more common in the city of Dayton, which is about 30 miles away, and saw a mass shooting in August 2019 when 24-year-old Connor Betts killed nine people and wounded 27 others. He opened fire at bystanders outside a bar, with his own sister among those he killed. He was fatally shot by police as he tried to force his way inside the crowded bar.

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