Update: Man kills mother, aims rifle at police before being gunned down by officers

Published: Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:25 AM EST
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WALNUT HILLS (FOX19) - We now know the name of the man police say stabbed his mother and then aimed a rifle at officers early Monday morning. He is 37-year-old Gregory Sanders.

Cincinnati Police say at around 5 a.m. Monday morning, Gregory Sanders went to his neighbor's house and told them he had murdered his mother. That is when that neighbor called 911 and handed Sanders the phone.

"Hello. Cincinnati Police. Someone just called 911. Do you need police, fire or medical?" asks a 911 dispatcher.

"Yes. I just…I just murdered my mother," said Sanders.

Within minutes, four officers responded to the 1200 block of Lincoln Avenue in Walnut Hills. When they approached the home, they saw Sanders sitting in his living room through a screen door.

"As the officer began to initially address Mr. Sanders, Mr. Sanders did not reply verbally but he reached down to the floor and picked up an object that, in the dark, it took a second for officers to discern what it was. It was a rifle," said Lt. Colonel James L. Whalen, Assistant Police Chief for the Cincinnati Police Department.

At that point, Lt. Col. Whalen says officers retreated back to their vehicles but Sanders followed with this unloaded rifle aiming it at the cops. Seconds later, you can hear several shots fired over police radio.

"There was a total of 20 shots fired in total between three police officers," says Lt. Col. Whalen.

Sanders was several times in the torso and once in the head. He died at the scene. Soon after, police found the body of his mother -- 59-year-old Deborah Jean Sanders -- inside the home they shared along with evidence of recreational drug use and several sharp weapons. Lieutenant Colonel James Whalen says Mrs. Sanders had reportedly been gravely ill. However, it appears she died from one or more stab wounds.

"Mr. Sanders was clearly her caretaker. Their relationship was described as somewhat agitated between them on an ongoing basis but I really can't tell you what led to this particular flow of events this morning," says Lt. Col. Whalen.

Lt. Col. Whalen says Gregory Sanders had no history of mental illness but those close to him told police his demeanor seemed stressed over the last week.

There were a total of four officers involved but only three of them fired their weapons. Ofc. Kenneth Grubbs who joined Cincinnati Police January 11th, 1998. Ofc. William Keuper joined the department January 10, 1999. Ofc. Stephanie Greene joined CPD June 22, 2008 and Ofc. Michael Moore joined June 17, 2007.

All four officers are each taking a standard seven-day leave while the investigation is completed.

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