Man killed in Butler County SWAT standoff identified

Man killed in Butler County SWAT standoff identified

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A SWAT standoff suspect is dead in Butler County after pointing his gun at a SWAT team member as they entered an apartment to try to take him into custody, Sheriff Richard Jones said.

It happened about 11:30 p.m. Monday in the 6800 block of Yoakum Court at Lakota Pointe Townhomes near Liberty Junior High School.

Deputies were first called to the residence just after 5:30 p.m. for a domestic situation that the sheriff said escalated, prompting more deputies and the SWAT team to respond.

The original 911 call said Junius Thomas arrived at the home on Yoakum Court and kicked in the door, according to the sheriff’s office. The woman living there feared for her safety and ran from the home, Sheriff Jones says.

Thus, leaving Thomas alone in the home.

The SWAT team tried to negotiate with Thomas until they finally went in more than four hours later, according to the sheriff.

“We tried to enter the apartment, the subject pointed his weapon at the SWAT team and one of our SWAT team members fired his weapon,” Sheriff Jones said. “We shot the subject when he pointed his weapon at us.”

Thomas did not fire his weapon at law enforcement, the sheriff said. He was armed with a loaded handgun.

Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We negotiated for several hours and tried to end this peacefully. He obviously chose to end it with an unfortunate result,” the sheriff said.

The sheriff said he considers the shooting to be justified because Thomas pointed a deadly weapon at the deputy.

The Butler County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene early Tuesday.

When deputies first arrived, they determined an “angry” man inside one of the buildings was armed with a gun, Jones said at the scene earlier Monday night.

As a safety precaution, deputies evacuated neighbors and closed the street.

SWAT team members negotiated into the night with the man, encouraging him to exit the building and allow them to take him into custody peacefully, according to Jones.

Sheriff Jones said at the scene late Monday before the deadly end to the standoff that he was glad no weapons were fired so far.

In 2018, the sheriff’s office and their SWAT team were fired on by gunmen holding at least one hostage in two separate standoffs in Liberty Township and in Trenton.

No law enforcement officials were hurt, but the Trenton standoff resulted in one of the hostages being fatally shot by the suspect, who was a murder suspect in another woman’s slaying just hours earlier, just before he surrendered.

FOX19 NOW will continue to update this story as more details are released.

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