Man fatally shot by Monroe police; witness recounts what she saw

A 35-year-old has been identified as the man fatally shot by officers Friday night in Monroe.

Dustin Booth, a Monroe resident, was transported from the scene of the incident near Ohio 63 and New Garver Road to Atrium Medical Center, where he died.

Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove said Booth was shot multiple times.

Police made a traffic stop at 10:44 p.m. when Booth, who was a passenger, got out of the vehicle and did not follow officers’ commands, police said. He pulled a handgun from his waistband, and officers shot him.

The “officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, per department policy,” police said.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation spokesman Steve Irwin said his office was requested shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said Monroe police called BCI for the investigation.

Eliza Miller said she witnessed the incident. She had just picked up a Door Dash order at McDonald’s and was at a nearby stoplight when she saw four Monroe police cruisers, lights flashing, pull over a blue and white pickup truck on Lebanon Road.

“I really did have a front row seat,” Miller said. She is still shaken by what she saw.

She said the truck was pulled over and the driver “immediately got out of the vehicle and was getting on the ground, and I witnessed the passenger get out and start walking away with his hands up. And he had his arms up the entire time, so I mean, if they did find a gun on him, they got lucky, but from my vantage point his arms were up when he got killed.”

Miller and her passenger said “It was clearly more than a traffic stop with all the cops there. We were watching because it was a crazy situation.”

She said a police dog released and appeared to bite Booth, but officers called the canine back.

“They did not allow the canine to get him to the ground,” Miller said. “So the noncompliance was that he would not get on the ground. That part is absolutely true, he was noncompliant when they were telling him to get on the ground and he was not getting on the ground.”

Booth was then standing on the median, she said. She estimates between five and nine officers were with him standing in a semi-circle.

Miller said she heard one shot followed by many others. She said it sounded like all officers fired their weapons. She said he heard at least 12 shots.

“One shot and they all shot,” she said. “It was really horrible and I was in such shock.”

She said, “from our vantage point his arms were up the whole time.”

Monroe police did not answer a request for reports and additional information, including how many and the names of the officers on administrative leave. The officers do have body cameras that will likely be a part of the BCI investigation.

A Butler County Sheriff’s Office CAD (computer-aided dispatch) report from Booth’s address on Bluegrass Lane indicates deputies were called to assist police there earlier that day, around 2:40 p.m.

The report says there was a man inside with mental health issues and there were weapons in the house.

BCSO and Monroe Police were at the residence, or nearby, for 2 hours and 25 minutes. During that time, Booth was seen with a gun on his hip.

There was no answer on Booth’s cell phone, and when officers looked through a garage window he was screaming and was very agitated, according to a CAD entry at 2:55 p.m. He also appeared to put a note in the front window.

It’s not clear from the CAD report why deputes cleared the residence, but Monroe officers may have stayed in the area.

Irwin said Monday the investigation is ongoing.

”The length of BCI’s investigation depends on the scope and scale of each incident — the average officer-involved shooting takes 400 hours to investigate. While the criminal investigation is ongoing, I cannot provide additional information about the incident,” Irwin said.

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