Body camera footage shows Monroe man’s death in officer-involved shooting

Monroe Police have released body camera footage of the fatal shooting of Dustin Booth that occurred last month at Ohio 63 and New Garver Road.

Due to the graphic nature of the videos, the Journal-News will not be publishing those online.

Five officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the incident that happened at 10:44 p.m. Feb. 11 after hours of Monroe officers trying to talk and negotiate with 35-year-old Booth, who was experiencing mental health issues, according to police.

The night time videos, which are shaky from officers’ activity, appear to show that Booth had a gun in his hand when the officers fired. Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove said a preliminary report indicates Booth was shot 13 times.

Police said he drew a firearm from his waistband and was shot by officers.

In the stressful scene, a man, likely the driver of the vehicle Booth was in, exited during the traffic stop and is seen crawling from the truck to the officers.

An officer asks if the man is hurt and the response is, “No, no. I am fine.”

A person, maybe an officer or the driver, is heard yelling, “Stop him, stop him, he has got a gun.”

The K-9 officer releases the dog from the cruiser and there is yelling: “you are going to get bit.”

“Come back, come to me. Stop,” an officer yells at Booth, who appears to lower his hands. “Get you hands up.”

The police dog runs to Booth but does not appear to bite. An officer also approaches.

Booth says, “Listen to me I don’t want to hurt nobody.”

Officers continue to yell, “get on the ground.”

Booth is moving around and appears to turn with a shiny object that looks like a gun in his hand.

Shots are fired and officers yell at Booth, who is down in the median, “don’t move. Do not reach for that gun.”

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is continuing to work the incident, which will include the body camera video and other evidence. The case will then be presented to a grand jury for consideration, said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

Booth’s wife called 911 about 2:10 p.m. on that day stating her husband was experiencing a mental health crisis. She also said he was a danger to himself and to others.

Officers went to the the neighborhood where Booth drove to his Blue Grass Lane residence. He went inside without complying with officers trying to stop him, according to Monroe police.

“Attempts to make contact with him through several different methods were attempted over the next several hours. Dustin was observed by officers to have a handgun in his possession while inside his residence and he appeared to be very agitated. Negotiators from the West Chester/Monroe Tactical Response Team as well as the Crisis Response Team from Butler Behavioral Health Services were requested to the scene in an effort to communicate with Dustin and to get him to the hospital for mental health treatment,” police said in the news release.

Officers believed Booth was armed and had access to other weapons in the house. They “pulled back” from the residence in an effort to calm the situation, but maintained observation on the residence out of concerns for the safety of the surrounding neighbors and community, police said.

When Booth left the house as a passenger in a vehicle, officers followed because there was a concern he was a danger to himself and the community. Officers followed to coordinate a traffic stop in and effort to take Booth into custody and have him transported to the hospital for mental health evaluation.

Police said there were several officers involved in the traffic stop due to a heightened risk because of Booth’s actions, as well as the knowledge that he might still be armed.

When Booth exited the vehicle, he failed to comply with the order of several officers and began walking away from the vehicle toward Ohio 63 with his hands up, according to police.

“The driver of the vehicle yelled several times to the officers, ‘Stop him he has a gun’. Because Dustin was not complying with the officers’ commands, continuing to walk away from them, and because they had been told that he was still armed, the department’s K-9 was deployed as a less-lethal attempt to stop him. The K-9 was unsuccessful,” police said in the news release.

Officers then attempted to take Booth into custody. That is when he brought his hands down and pulled a handgun from the area of his waistline. This caused several officers to fire their weapons striking him multiple times, police said.

The officers placed on administrative leave are Sgt. Caleb Payne, Officer Michael Doughman, Officer Skylar Halsey, Officer Micah Day and Officer Austin Whitt.

Booth’s family, through attorney Konrad Kircher, released a statement last week stating they have many unanswered questions about Booth’s death.

“Among those are the following: Why was it so hard to get help for Dustin? And why did the police organize a plan to take him into custody and then kill him, knowing he was mentally ill?,” according to the family statement.

Kircher did not respond to a request for comment after the release of the police body camera videos.

Dustin Booth was the father of two sons. His family said he was a great husband and father and coached the boys in multiple youth sports leagues, according to the statement from the attorney. Booth worked for Cleveland Cliffs for 13 years and he had a side business power washing and cleaning the exterior of homes.

He had no criminal record.

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