5 Middletown police officers on paid leave after shooting

Injured man is expected to recover, chief says.

An officer-involved shooting on Monday at an apartment complex in Middletown is leaving the city’s police department somewhat strained as five officers who were there are now on leave while it is investigation.

Shots were fired between the responding officers and a man with a firearm who apparently barricaded into a residence at Olde Towne apartment complex on Park Lane, according to officials.

The 29-year-old man fired at the officers, who were with the Butler County Butler County Crisis Intervention team. Officers returned fire, said Middletown Police Chief David Birk.

The intervention team was there for a well-being check for the man who had a history with the mental health agency.

The man was shot several times in the legs and remained hospitalized Tuesday. He is expected to recover.

The man was hit multiple times, including in the foot and shin. None of the injuries are life-threatening, Birk said.

“Obviously, when he fired, we returned fire,” Birk said. “We are thankful he is not injured worse.”

Butler County Sheriff’s deputies were also at the scene as an escort with the intervention team, but did not discharge their weapons, according to Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said a warrant for the man’s arrest on the charge of felonious assault has been issued, but will not be served until his release from the hospital. Deputies are assigned to guard the man at the hospital.

An investigator from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident at the request of Birk.

Five officers who are on the Special Response Team are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard department policy.

The results of the BCI investigation will be presented to the a Butler County grand jury which is also a longstanding policy of Gmoser in officer-involved shootings.

The couching of five officers comes less than two weeks after officers involved in the February fatal shooting of a man in the parking lot of Walmart on Towne Boulevard were returned to duty following a BCI investigation.

It also comes at a busy time for the department as the weather warms up and lots of activities and events are planned in the city.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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