Police shoot, kill armed suspect during traffic stop

Scene of the incident (Photo: FOX19/Dale Lutz)
Scene of the incident (Photo: FOX19/Dale Lutz)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Dash cam footage is offering insight in to what happened before a Cincinnati Police officer shot and killed a man early Tuesday morning.

It happened around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday near Victory Parkway and Gilbert Avenue. Police say they made a routine traffic stop because the vehicle had tinted windows and failed to signal. A man inside the car allegedly attacked the officer.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Chief Jeffrey Blackwell revealed the suspect as 37-year-old Donyale Rowe. Blackwell says the incident wasn't the first time police have run into Rowe.

"In 2006 we had almost an identical scenario where he, the same man, fought with a gun and resisted with one of our officers," he said.

A court document further outlines that 2006 incident where police observed "Rowe who appeared to be conducting a hand to hand drug transaction with another individual". Following a pursuit, officers handcuffed Rowe and found a loaded gun in his waistband. As part of a plea deal, Rowe was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

During Wednesday's incident, police say they first attempted to tase Rowe after he pulled a .40 caliber handgun, but when the taser didn't deploy in time Officer Thomas Weigand and Officer Mark Bode fired six different times. Two of those shots hit Rowe, ultimately resulting in his death.

A female in the vehicle with Rowe reportedly told police Rowe said he would shoot the officers before exiting the vehicle.

Police say they later found drugs on Rowe as well as in the vehicle.

The incident is hard for Reverend Peterson Mingo, a friend of Rowe's family, to believe. Mingo said the Rowe family is very active in the community of Walnut Hills. He explained sometimes people get desperate.

"There are quite a few young men who have had to make some hard choices in life. Sometimes it's a matter of survival or financial or you have kids and some of the choices you take might not be the best at the time," he said.

Chief Blackwell says the incident is still under investigation. They believe both officers, Weigand and Bode actions for shooting Rowe were in line with training and appropriate.

The two officers suffered only minor injuries from the scuffle. 36 year old Mark Bode has been with the department since 2000 and met or exceeded standards in every category in his latest performance review.

38-year-old Thomas Weigand has been with CPD since 2002. He also performed very well during his last performance review, but did score a "needs improvement" in the "patrol practices" category, according to documents.

The review states "Officer Weigand was involved in a vehicle pursuit that did not conform to department standards."

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