Five Monroe Police officers are on paid administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation of the fatal shooting of Dustin Booth on Feb. 11 at Ohio 63 and New Garver Road.
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the officer-involved shooting that happened at 10:44 p.m. after hours of Monroe officers trying to talk and negotiate with 35-year-old Booth, who was experiencing mental health issues, according to a press release issued by Monroe Police.
Booth’s wife called 911 about 2:10 p.m. 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.
Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove told the Journal-News on Thursday that the preliminary autopsy report indicates Booth was shot 13 times. He was transported from the scene and died at Atrium Medical Center.
The officers placed on administrative leave are Sgt. Caleb Payne, Officer Michael Doughman, Officer Skylar Halsey, Officer Micah Day and Officer Austin Whitt.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said as is his standard policy with all officer-involved shootings, when the investigation is completed the evidence it will be presented to a grand jury for review.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact BCI at (740) 845-2000.
“We ask the public to allow the investigation to be completed and the results be made available before coming to any conclusions surrounding this case,” police said.
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