Police: Man shot, killed by Moraine officers after I-75 crash pointed gun

Suspect ignored 41 commands to drop weapon; officers fired 9 shots, chief says.

Moraine police fatally shot a man Wednesday morning who the chief said pointed a firearm at officers who responded to a crash on Interstate 75.

Police Chief Craig Richardson identified the man as 27-year-old Elijah Isham, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

WHAT WE KNOW NOW:

»5:46 a.m., crews respond to crash on I-75 North

»5:51 a.m., officers arrive on scene

»6:01 a.m., man involved in crash points gun at officers, Moraine police say

»6:07 a.m. officers broadcast over the radio that shots had been fired

»Chief says 41 warnings were given to drop the weapon

»Nine shots were fired by the two officers

Moraine police and fire crews responded at 5:46 a.m. to a two-vehicle crash on I-75 North near Dryden Road.

One vehicle was on its top, and a second in a ditch.

ExplorePHOTOS: I-75 north closed over crash, police shooting

Officers were close to the driver of the car on its top before noticing the gun.

“The driver in the flipped car has a weapon in his hand,” one of the officers said in radio traffic.

Isham was pointing the gun and was disobeying commands, Richardson said. Also, there were no less-lethal options immediately available at the scene among the Moraine officers and an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper assisting at the crash, he said.

“The suspect had a gun, pointed the firearm at the officers, officers shot the suspect the officers then immediately secured the weapon and called for the medics to come in and help,” Richardson said. “Officers attempted to engage the suspect for approximately 5 minutes. They gave him, we counted 41 commands over that 5 minutes to put the gun down, which he ignored.”

“At one point the officer could see him trying to cock the gun,” Richardson said.

The officers involved — identified as nightshift supervisor Sgt. Ken Lloyd and Jerome Klemmensen — fired nine shots between them. They are on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy.

“This went from a simple crash to a deadly force situation very quickly,” Richardson said.

The suspect had a .44-caliber revolver, the chief said, which from police photographs released appears to be a reproduction Civil War era Remington revolver.

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Isham’s vehicle license plate and driver’s license were issued in Oregon, but he was believed to be living locally, Richardson said.

He has an April felony assault arrest in Colorado, and a protection order against him, but did not appear to have any active warrants, the chief said.

It is not clear what led to the crash, but Richardson said, “He had to be traveling at a substantial speed.”

The driver of the car that landed in a ditch was one of several 911 callers after the crash.

“I have no idea what happened. I was in the slow lane coming up on the Dryden Road exit and someone hit me,” he told the dispatcher. “... There were sparks. I’m not even sure there’s not even a fire.”

The caller, who said he didn’t think he was injured, had no passengers in the vehicle when he was rear-ended.

The crash and shooting closed I-75 North from Central Avenue/South Dixie Highway to Dryden Road for several hours and also temporarily blocked a couple lanes of I-75 South.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is investigating Isham’s cause and manner of death.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and the Tactical Crime Suppression Unit is handling the criminal investigation. Moraine police will conduct an internal investigation.

The last fatal shooting involving Moraine officers was in 2017; the last before that was about 20 years prior to that, the chief said.

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