Suspect shot by Fairfield police officer is now charged

Molina-Hernandez will be in court Monday.

The suspect injured in Sunday’s officer-involved shooting has been charged with aggravated menacing, a fifth-degree felony, police said.

Rodolfo Molina-Hernandez, 36, of West Hicks Boulevard, was released Thursday from the hospital after being shot by rookie police Officer Nick Davis on Sunday afternoon in the 3300 block of Port Union Road.

Molina-Hernandez was also served with an outstanding contempt of court warrant through Fairfield Municipal Court, and he is currently being held at the Butler County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in Fairfield Municipal Court at 10 a.m. Monday.

The incident started when an unidentified man called 911 on Sunday, June 5, and said there was “a guy with a gun” but the dispatcher had difficulty understanding the caller with a thick accent. The dispatcher asked him to repeat himself but disconnected.

The dispatcher had requested an officer check out the 911 hang-up and Davis responded to the 3300 block of Port Union Road. The call came in at around 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

Upon arrival, Davis attempted to talk with Molina-Hernandez, who was standing in the road.

The rookie officer ordered Molina-Hernandez several times to drop the weapon. Davis reported on radio traffic provided by the Fairfield Police Department that “it appears he has a gun in his hand.”

Molina-Hernandez had taken up a “shooting stance,” according to police. A moment after hearing Davis saying Molina-Hernandez had a weapon, dispatchers called for backup. Davis then could be heard saying with a distressed tone “shots fired.” The dispatcher repeated the “shots fired” call.

After the shooting, a wellness check of the officer was requested and Davis could be heard saying he was okay and “apparently it was just a toy gun but he was pointing it at me.”

Police said the observation that the weapon was a “toy” took place after the shooting. At the time of the shooting, police said Davis believed the weapon as it was pointed at him was real. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the agency investigating the officer-involved shooting, confirmed it was a real weapon.

Other officers arriving on the scene began life-saving measures and called for paramedics. Molina-Hernandez was transported to an area hospital, where he was still located, police confirmed Tuesday. Charges against Molina-Hernandez are pending.

No officers were injured during the incident.

It’s uncertain how long the BCI investigation will take to complete, and when Davis’ body-worn camera footage will be released. This is the third officer-involved shooting since 2016 when the department began utilizing body-worn cameras. Police said the incident where a man standing on Port Union Road on Sunday afternoon was shot by a Fairfield officer was recorded.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser’s standing policy since taking office has been to present all officer-involved shootings to a grand jury. The prosecutor told the Journal-News the case will be presented to a grand jury “as soon as BCI completes its investigation.”

Gmoser said he believes BCI’s investigation could wrap up the week of June 13.

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