Prosecutor: 'Sonny was everything Hummons was not' - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Prosecutor: 'Sonny was everything Hummons was not'

(FOX19 NOW/File) (FOX19 NOW/File)
Sonny Kim. (FOX19 NOW file) Sonny Kim. (FOX19 NOW file)
Trepierre Hummons. (FOX19 NOW file) Trepierre Hummons. (FOX19 NOW file)

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters released details Wednesday of Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim's death investigation.

At the press conference, he said “Sonny was everything Hummons was not," and called the incident "tragic bad luck." 

Officer Kim, 48, was shot and killed in Madisonville, after responding to calls about a man brandishing a gun the morning of June 19. 

Police officials initially described the ambush attack by Trepierre Hummons as "suicide by cop," - a description the prosecutor disputed Wednesday.

“His goal was to lure and kill as many police officers as he could," said Deters. "And if not for the actions of Officer Sandmann, there could have been a lot more dead police officers.”

CPD Officer Tom Sandmann arrived to the scene after Hummons shot Kim three times. Sandmann exchanged gunfire with Hummons and ultimately shot and killed the suspect.

The prosecutor’s investigation aimed to determine whether or not Sandmann’s actions were justified. In the press conference Wednesday, Deters said Sandmann deserves a medal for his actions and announced no charges will be filed against him.

Kim, who was wearing protective body gear, suffered gunshot wound to his arms and side. The side shot was “tragic bad luck” and not survivable, Deters described.

Deters released an unedited and edited version of dash cam video from Sandmann’s cruiser. The edited video shows Hummons walking past Kim’s body, which is blurred out, and firing at Sandmann.

“Because the investigation is complete, similarly we believe that it is a public record now,” he said of the video release.

Deters privately met with Kim's widow last week to let her know the video was going to be released once investigation findings came out. He said she thanked him for not releasing it right after her husband was killed.

Kim served the city as a District 2 officer on the east side for 27 years. He left behind a wife and three teenage sons and was the first Cincinnati police officer killed in the line of duty since 2000.

He received 21 commendations during his career and also owned a karate center on Reading Road and taught classes for adults, teens and kids. 

Hummons was under the influence of alcohol and a Valium-type drug when he told 911 dispatchers there was an armed man acting belligerently at Whetsel Avenue and Roe Street.

“The night before, he was accused by his girlfriend, and she actually signed a complaint for rape,” Deters described Hummons. Hummons’ mother said her son was distraught and didn’t want to be known as a registered sex offender.

Kim responded to the scene and exited his cruiser with taser drawn. Hummons and his mother were standing in the street.

Unaware her son was armed, the mother approached Kim and said she would talk to her son, according to Deters.

“He reaches into his back waistband, where he has the gun, goes around mom and shoots Sonny,” said Deters.

Hummons would have faced the death penalty had he survived the indecent, Deters claimed.

Deters and Interim Police Chief Eliot Isaac both called the situation tragic.

“Sonny was everything Hummons was not. He was a loving father, a loving husband. He dedicated his life to the city and ultimately he paid the ultimate price to protect us,” said Deters.


June 19: Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim, 48, responded at 9:03 a.m. to 911 calls of a man with a gun in Madisonville at Whetsel and Roe.

Police say 21-year-old Trepierre Hummons was the one who called 911, luring police there for “suicide by cop."

Hummons was reportedly distraught because he’d been accused of a sex crime involving his girlfriend.

A parole officer was first on scene, Kim was second to arrive; Hummons’ mother stood between the two trying to diffuse the situation.

Hummons and Kim exchanged gunfire. A second officer, Tom Sandmann, arrived shortly after Kim was shot.

Hummons shot at Sandmann; Sandmann fatally wounded Hummons.

June 26: Thousands gathered for a memorial service at the Cintas Center. Kim was then laid to rest at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Symmes Township

Media requests dashcam footage from Sandmann’s cruiser

Sonny Kim’s widow writes a letter (see separate email for letter) pleading that video not be released (Hummon’s father also sent a letter not wanting video released)

August 11: Deters refuses to release video, citing the “the active grand jury investigation into shooting” and the widow’s appeal

December 1: Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office completes investigation

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