Butler Co. deputy won't be charged for shooting, killing veteran

Butler Co. deputy won't be charged for shooting, killing veteran
Deputy Taylor Hensen (Source: Butler County Sheriff's Office)
Deputy Taylor Hensen (Source: Butler County Sheriff's Office)

BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The Butler County Sheriff's deputy will not face charges after shooting and killing a man in St. Clair Township last week, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser announced Thursday.

Deputy Taylor Hensen, a 6-year veteran, shot Jacob Faulkner, 32, after he approached deputies with a shotgun, said Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones.

Gmoser said the shooting was justified and appeared the man "intended his life to end by the hand of another."

He went on to say:

"The circumstances of this incident have been widely publicized with what may be considered obvious by the public to be a justified homicide and begging the question of why Grand Jury consideration was required. In Butler County, I have long established as a policy – before the incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland, and others – that all officer involved shootings, regardless of circumstances that make justification obvious to the common observer will be considered by a Grand Jury.  There are no exceptions.  The reason is that when appropriate, I can conclude justification without a Grand Jury, but then when a case is submitted it will invite unwarranted speculation that there is no defense and that an indictment should issue.  It further places appropriate distance between law enforcement and the prosecutor to foster impartiality in these circumstances."

The shooting was reported on Jackson Road at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20.

Deputies initially responded to reports a gunman was shooting at a moving train.

Faulkner's mother called 911.

"I've got a son that was in Afghanistan. He was in the terrorist thing. He's got a vest and gun. He over by the rail road tracks. He's shooting them off," she told dispatchers. "He doesn't like that train. The sounds the train make. And I'm telling you he been going through this. He's been going through a rough time."

Faulkner fled the area and went to his residence on Hamilton Trenton Road.

Deputies caught up with him shortly after.

Faulkner came back out and pointed a loaded shotgun at deputies

Deputies asked Faulkner to drop his weapon several times, Jones said, but he did not comply.

They engaged with the shooter and Hensen fired three shots at Faulkner, according to Gmoser.

Deputies immediately applied first aid, but Faulkner was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This case does underscore equally significant issues," said Gmoser.  "Mr. Faulkner was a veteran and deeply troubled from his military service.  Once again we can only speculate on his motivation to force his death to preserve innocent life beginning with the Deputy, but circumstances dictate a conclusion that he intended his life to end by the hand of another."

No other injuries were reported.

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