FOX19 uncovers details on Officer Latzy who fatally shot woman - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

FOX19 uncovers details on officer who fatally shot woman

Matt Latzy Matt Latzy
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The personnel record for Matt Latzy, the officer who fatally shot a woman armed with a knife outside an apartment complex, sheds light on the career of the 13-year Cincinnati police veteran.

In the latest review included in the report, Latzy is commended for his "sound judgment in most all incidents" and says he has "handle[d] himself very professionally even at difficult times and scenes". The documents include references citizen complaints, but according to CPD it is department policy not to keep those on file after a year unless there is an ongoing investigation. A spokesperson also told FOX19 it is department policy to only keep the last three years of annual reviews on file.

According to the City of Wyoming Fire Chief Robert Rielage, Latzy has been volunteering for the department for the last nine months in addition to his police duties.

"You're looking for the person with the utmost trust. You're looking for people of character," Rielage said of the recruitment process. "Matt certainly fit those qualifications very, very easily."

The attorney for the family of Erica Collins, the woman who was shot, had nothing commending to say about Latzy, however.

"The fact that she was yielding a weapon doesn't mean he is allowed to shoot her. It wasn't a gun," attorney Eric Deters argued. "It was a butcher knife in a woman's hand."

911 calls released Monday help retell the story of the Saturday incident that started as a domestic disturbance response call.

Another caller later questioned why it was taking longer for an ambulance to arrive when multiple police vehicles were already on scene.

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig stood behind Latzy's actions Sunday saying he faced an immediate threat to his life.

"According to witnesses Erica challenged the officer to shoot her and then moved in his direction. Erica then raised the knife at which point officer Latzy, in immediate fear of his life and safety, discharged his firearm twice striking Erica," said Craig.

Chief Craig told reporters Sunday that the investigation into 26-year-old Erica Collins' death is continuing. But Craig says his initial opinion is that the shooting was justified.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Williams says Officer Matthew Latzy was responding to a report of a family dispute when Collins approached him outside the building. She says witnesses report Collins refused Latzy's order to put the knife down.

Williams says Collins was shot twice and died at the scene Saturday.

The family's attorney told The Cincinnati Enquirer that witnesses told him no one was in imminent harm when Collins was shot.

A neighbor, Kim Williams, corroborated that account saying, "I heard everything. I didn't hear nobody say 'please put your weapon down' or nothing like that. He didn't give a warning or anything."

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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