No indictment for SWAT team members in deadly Butler County standoff

No indictment for SWAT team members in deadly Butler County standoff
The Butler County Sheriff's Office identified Junius Thomas as the man killed during the standoff with SWAT. (Source: WXIX)

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Butler County Grand Jury declined to issue an indictment in connection with a deadly standoff in which the suspect pointed his gun at a SWAT team member, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said.

On Jan. 11, the Butler County Regional SWAT team responded to a 911 call from a person living in the Lakota Pointe Townhomes near Liberty Junior High School.

The caller said someone she knew broke through her front door and was armed with a pistol.

By the time the SWAT team arrived, the caller managed to safely get out of the apartment.

Negotiators were able to reach the intruder, Junius Thomas, 31, by phone and they tried to get him to surrender but he refused.

A press release from the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office says Thomas became increasingly agitated and was occasionally seen in the front door with a holstered pistol.

The SWAT team decided to use a robot to get a chemical irritant inside the home and to conduct video surveillance when negotiations stalled, but Thomas closed the door.

The team made a second attempt and at the same time, the prosecutor’s office says, Thomas was seen by SWAT team members pointing his unholstered firearm at them.

“The immediate lethal threat by Mr. Thomas was met with an immediate lethal response. Mr. Thomas was fatally shot by a SWAT team member,” Gmoser wrote in the release.

An autopsy revealed that Thomas had meth in his system and his death was the result of four fatal gunshot wounds.

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