CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police sergeant accidentally grabbed the wrong ammunition and fired a shotgun round at - but did not hit - a suicidal man armed with a knife in the West End Saturday, Chief Eliot Isaac said.
Sgt. Daniel Carder meant to take beanbag rounds out of his police vehicle but instead grabbed lethal, 12-gauge shotgun rounds, loaded his weapon and fired at Kaleb Moore, 24, on Freeman Avenue, the chief said
“He clearly, clearly inadvertently loaded the wrong ammunition,” Isaac said at a news conference Sunday.
The incident is now under investigation by the police department’s internal investigation section, Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office and the city’s civilian police oversight board.
Sgt. Carder, who has been with CPD since 1992, is on paid administrative leave, police said.
Officers responded to a call from Moore’s mother reporting her son was suicidal and had a history of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He was armed with a knife at a residence in the 2100 block of Freeman Avenue Saturday.
Officers tried to take Moore into custody to get a mental health evaluation at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, but he refused, the chief said.
Moore told officers not to touch him and get away from him and then pushed away from the officers, the chief said.
Moore then removed his sweatshirt and pulled a steak knife from his waistband.
Officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he did not, the chief said.
“Put the knife down! C’mon dude, you need some help,” you can hear them say on the body camera video.
“Put the knife down, we’ll talk it out.”
Police including a District 1 supervisor, Sgt. Carder, used what’s considered “less lethal” force - Tasers, beanbag shotgun rounds, and a chemical irritant - in an attempt to subdue him but those had no effect and Moore did not drop the knife, the chief said.
At one point, the sergeant reached into the window of his police vehicle to get more beanbag shotgun rounds and “inadvertently” grabbed a box of 12-gauge ammunition instead, loaded that into his weapon and fired once at Moore as he continued to wield the knife, according to Isaac.
The shot missed and went into a garbage can. Sgt. Carder immediately realized he had fired a lethal round at the man instead of the beanbag round and put his gun down on the floorboard of the vehicle, the chief said.
Sgt. Carder alerted a supervisor what happened and the police department’s Criminal Investigation Section was called to the scene to investigate.
Isaac played the sergeant’s body camera video at the news conference.
When the real bullet is fired, Carder is heard saying “S---! God---- it,” according to the video.
The chief explained: “Realizing that was not a beanbag round.”
Police then fired pepper ball rounds at the man, but those also had no effect.
A SWAT team was called to the scene and took over for uniformed officers, the chief said. They negotiated with Moore to drop the knife.
A mental health crisis team and SWAT team doctor also were on scene but were unable to get involved because Moore was armed with a knife, the chief explained.
Several hours later at about 9:23 p.m., SWAT officers deployed a 40-mm sponge round and additional Tasers at Moore, incapacitating him long enough to disarm him and take him into custody, according to Isaac.
Moore was taken to the hospital, where he is under a 72-hour psych hold.
He is undergoing a mental health evaluation and is being treated for other medical issues unrelated to what happened, the chief said.
Moore sustained minor abrasions to his chest and arms when he was struck with beanball and pepper ball rounds, according to Isaac.
Police charged him with inducing panic and resisting arrest, court records show.
The chief said he spoke with Moore’s family Sunday morning and explained what happened.
“They were very complimentary of the actions of the officers and the patience that it took to take Mr. Moore into custody and were very understanding what occurred here,” Isaac said.
Cincinnati City Councilman David Mann found out when the city manager called him this morning.
“Obviously, we were very lucky not to have a tragedy. It is impressive the sergeant self-reported. He was the only one who knew he made the horrible mistake. He immediately reported it,” Mann said.
“I understand that having the equipment together in the trunk is something restricted to officers who had special training and he was a small number who have.”
However, Mann also said the incident shows that “obviously, we need to look at the training.”
He said he was confused about how the less-lethal or non-lethal ammunition could be stored with lethal rounds.
“That is something that should be looked at. I understand from the chief that there will be some discipline,” he said.
“It is just a reminder of how difficult the challenges are that our police officers face. Obviously, no one wanted to hurt this fella. They wanted to prevent him from hurting others.”