Fairfield hotel robbery victim: ‘I shot him’ protecting family members

Butler County Coroner’s office preliminarily rules death of 18-year-old man as a homicide.

The Butler County Coroner’s Office has identified an 18-year-old found dead early Sunday morning in a second-floor hotel hallway as Kaaree Wade Hipsher-Burton of Cincinnati.

And according to the 911 call, the shooting appeared to be in self-defense.

Butler County Coroner’s Office has preliminary ruled Hipsher-Burton’s death as a homicide as he was found with a gunshot wound. Fairfield police Maj. Becky Ervin wouldn’t say if the case would be investigated as a homicide or self-defense, but said, “It’s being investigated and will be presented to the (Butler County) Prosecutor’s Office for their review and determination.”

Hipsher-Burton’s body was autopsied on Tuesday afternoon, but his name was not released until Wednesday morning to ensure the family was notified prior to the public notification, said Butler County Coroner’s Office spokesman Martin Schneider.

Fairfield police and fire crews were dispatched at 5:23 a.m. Sunday to the Holiday Inn Express, 6755 Fairfield Business Center Drive, where the man was found dead.

An employee of the hotel called 911, stating that “someone tried to rob one of my guests, and they’re upstairs on the second floor.”

The attempted robbery victim then got on the phone call and told dispatchers that Hipsher-Burton, whom he did not know, displayed a handgun and told the man, his brother, and nephew to get on the floor. The man said he reached for his own firearm and fired at the 18-year-old, striking him in the torso.

“I shot him,” he said. “I was sleeping, and he woke me up.”

The victim said he was protecting his brother and nephew. Hipsher-Burton wore a red ski mask and black jacket and carried a purse, according to the man.

“He brought it out, he pointed at us; it looked like it was a Glock or something,” the attempted robbery victim told the dispatcher. “He said he was about to shoot, and I shot real quick.”

After the man shot Hipsher-Burton, he told dispatchers he “ran. I ran to the (front) desk,” adding he had a panic attack after the shooting. “I got scared.”

Ervin said the circumstances surrounding the man’s death are under investigation, and those involved have been identified. No arrests, however, have been made at this time.

Ervin said the police department would wait until the autopsy results are released before providing additional information. No new information regarding the police investigation was released Tuesday afternoon. However, Ervin did say the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted, police said.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact the Fairfield Police Department at (513) 829-8201 or Sgt. Pete Lagemann at (513) 896-8246.

About the Author