Sheriff: Butler County detective shoots suspect during child porn search warrant

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 9:32 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - An acting detective with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office shot and wounded a man Monday while sheriff’s officials and federal officials with Homeland Security executed a search warrant for child pornography, sheriff’s officials said.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Alex Hoskins, 26, pointed a handgun at Detective Ricky Phillips about 12:30 p.m. in the 4200 block of Jennifer Drive in Ross Township, and Phillips shot the suspect in the chest “to eliminate the threat.”

Hoskins “was shot after brandishing a firearm,” sheriff’s officials said in a news release when they identified him Monday night.

Authorities performed life-saving measures on Hoskins at the scene, according to Jones.

First responders then transported Hoskins to Fort Hamilton Hughes Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Hoskins was released into custody later Monday and is currently at the Butler County Jail on one count of felonious assault and three counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.

According to the sheriff’s office, Hoskins confessed in an interview to possessing child porn as well as sending and receiving child porn images and videos.

During the interview, authorities discovered Hoskins believed he was under investigation and prepared for a confrontation with investigators by recently purchasing a firearm, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jones said Hoskins told Phillips wanted to die “suicide by cop.”

The sheriff’s office says more charges are likely to be presented to a grand jury and that the investigation is ongoing.

“Our investigators are working the case as we speak (...) and we are working on additional search warrants for his electronic devices, and we expect the charges will change, either be upped or more added as the investigation continues.

“When we knock on your door to serve a search warrant, it’s not a good thing to come to the door with a gun in your hand after the police identify themselves as the police and then point your loaded handgun at them. When you point a gun at the police, bad things can happen to both the police and the suspect. In this instance, the suspect was shot. The police don’t have to be shot and killed or shot and wounded before they defend themselves.”

The detective who fired at Hoskins was not hurt, but he is on paid administrative leave during an investigation.

Jones said he chose to ask the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to investigate because the acting detective who shot Hoskins also shot another armed suspect, in January, during a SWAT standoff.

A Butler County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Junius Thomas, 31, during a Jan. 11 standoff in the 6800 block of Yoakum Court in Liberty Township.

Thomas pointed his gun toward SWAT team members, Jones told FOX19 NOW at the time. Phillips was not named as the deputy who shot Thomas then.

Sheriff’s officials described the deputy involved in the shooting at the time as an eight-year veteran of the department.

A Butler County grand jury recently reviewed all evidence and declined to issue an indictment.

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