Lauren Pack Michael D. Pitman
Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio
A Butler County grand jury returned no indictments against officers involved with a fatal shooting in Fairfield on March 6, according to Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.
The investigation conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was reviewed by a grand jury this week.
Officers Edward Bausch, Daniel Setterstrom and Craig Moore responded to 9 S. Timber Hollow Drive at 11:49 a.m. on March 6 at the request of a woman for officers to be “on standby” related to a domestic dispute issue. According to the investigation, Tyler Jones was a suspect in the theft of a car and a firearm.
When Jones, 24, arrived at the Timber Hollow Apartment Homes complex, there was a confrontation between him and the police officers in the parking lot, and he was shot and killed.
Jones told officers, “Go ahead and shoot, bro,” walked away refusing to show his hands, then pulled out a gun, the investigation showed. He dropped the gun, ran for the weapon as it skidded in the parking lot, was hit by a Taser that had no effect, then retrieved the gun on the ground and pointed it at the head of an officer who was in pursuit, according to Gmoser. All three officers fired shots at Jones.
The prosecutors said the officers fired “eliminating his deadly force against them.”
And body cams worn by the officers captured the incident.
“The … conduct of Tyler Jones and the officers was recorded on the body cameras of the police officers leaving absolutely no doubt concerning the true historical record of events leading to the shooting and death of Tyler Jones,” Gmoser said.
The investigation completed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation lined up with information gathered from initial reporting and 911 calls: Jones’ girlfriend called 911 and said he allegedly stole her vehicle and loaded handgun. The woman told dispatchers he allegedly said he would shoot her if she tried to get her stuff back, or officers if they responded.
Bausch, Setterstrom and Moore have been placed on administrative leave, which is department policy. On Thursday, the officers remained on leave. The Journal-News has requested the body cam videos and investigation file from police to independently review the findings.
Gmoser said it is his office’s policy to take all officer-involved shootings, as well as self-defense cases, to a grand jury.
“We have clear evidence on videotape, that would lead the most skeptical observer to conclude that the shooting death of Tyler Jones was justified, it begs the question why such a case would receive grand jury consideration,” Gmoser said.
“The answer is equally clear. In Butler County, I have a long established as a policy – before incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore and Maryland and the others …. there are no exceptions and places appropriate distance between the police and the prosecution to foster a true sense of impartiality in these circumstances.”
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