Woman dead after officer-involved shooting in Clermont County
The woman was armed and firing at officers, causing them to duck and cover, according to Miami Township Police Chief Mike Mills.
MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - A police officer shot and killed a woman in Miami Township on Friday. The woman was armed and firing at police at the time, according to Miami Township Police Chief Mike Mills.
Mills addressed the media around 7:30 p.m. The following is his description of what happened pieced together from officer accounts and an initial review of body camera footage.
The incident began in the parking lot of the Berry Lane Apartments where the woman lived alone. Around 5 p.m. multiple residents called 911 saying the woman was in the parking lot with a loaded gun and had fired off two rounds. Shortly afterward, another 911 call reported the woman approached a resident.
Three police officers arrived around 5:02 p.m. The woman opened fire at the officers, causing the officers to duck behind squad cars. Bullet holes from behind the squad cars confirm the officers were in the line of fire and that the bullets went over their heads.
The officers told the woman repeatedly to drop the gun.
One officer had a “good vantage point.” While the officers were still telling the woman to drop her gun, this officer raised his gun, and the woman fired another round. At that point, he shot her six times. She went down, and the gun fell beside her.
The officers continued to tell her to stay away from the gun. They also called EMS and began measures to stop the bleeding. EMS arrived, called UC Air Care, and took the woman to the Air Care location, where Air Care pronounced her dead.
“Our intent when we shoot is to stop the threat. It’s not to kill anyone,” Mills said. “Some of the best marksmen in the world that compete in the Olympics, if you put them under this kind of pressure, they wouldn’t be able to shoot the gun out of her hand.”
Police are withholding the woman’s identity pending notification of her family. Her age is unknown.
Mills said mental health was likely an issue but that officers do not believe there was a prior dispute that led up to the shooting. He said she appeared to have been firing “indiscriminately” in the parking lot. He also noted she had been the subject of previous police runs and that at least one of the officers who responded Friday night knew her by name.
Mills said a mental health worker used by the department was on scene “from the word ‘go’” but that the officers couldn’t bring her in while the woman was firing rounds.
“We have officers that are highly trained in mental health, but when someone shoots at us, we don’t have time. We’ve run out of options at that point,” he said.”
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is handling the investigation. Mills said he called BCI immediately after the shooting. Miami Township PD will act as a liaison in the investigation, providing resources including body camera footage as needed.
The name of the officer who shot the woman is also being withheld but will eventually be released. Per Miami Township PD policy, he will be placed on administrative leave.
He has not been involved in any officer-involved shootings before, and in fact, this is Miami Township’s first officer-involved shooting since at least 1968, according to Mills.
The officer is shaken up but ok. “He did a really good job at trying to talk to her and render aid afterwards. He did it textbook,” Mills said.
Mills said he hopes to release the body cam footage as soon as Friday night or Saturday, pending approval from Clermont County Prosecutor Mark Tekulve, who is working with BCI.
The police chief conceded the body cam footage he reviewed only captured audio of the incident but did not directly show it. The rest of the body cam footage, according to Mills, is “trapped inside the crime scene,” which police took pains to leave unadulterated.
Similarly, there is no information about the gun the woman used because officers left it untouched at the crime scene for BCI to review.
The cruiser camera was pointed directly at the shooting. Mills did not confirm this will be released.
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