Coroner IDs man killed in Middletown officer-involved shooting

Victor Lykins, 47, was shot and killed Saturday night following a traffic stop in Walmart parking lot.

It may be months before the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation releases its findings related to a fatal police-involved shooting in Middletown, said BCI spokesman Steve Irwin.

He said the length of the investigation depends on the “scale of the incident.” Typically, he said, the results would be forwarded to the prosecutor within 60 to 90 days.

On Saturday night, following a traffic stop in the Middletown Walmart parking lot, 2900 Towne Blvd., Middletown police shot and killed Victor Lykins, 47, of Middletown. He was identified Monday morning by Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove after an autopsy was performed over the weekend at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The shooting happened at 5:19 p.m. Saturday in the parking. Middletown Division of Police Chief David Birk said shots were fired by an officer at the two occupants inside the vehicle, killing one. The other person in the SUV was not injured.

Since the incident occurred in Warren County, the investigation results will go to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell for review. Fornshell was at the scene Saturday night.

No Middletown police officers were injured. Two officers involved in the traffic stop are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure, according to Birk.

The last time Middletown had an officer-involved shooting was in 2006 when an officer shot a knife-wielding suspect who made threats. The suspect survived and the officer was cleared of any wrong-doing.

This was the first fatal police-involved shooting since 1997 when Bill Becker was police chief and the department conducted the investigation that eventually cleared the officer involved.

In October of that year, police officer Aaron McQueen shot and killed Micah Lofton after the car Lofton was driving rammed a police cruiser then headed for McQueen near the dead end of Plymouth Avenue, according to newspaper archives.

McQueen was cleared of any wrong-doing, but he left the police department a short time later, Becker said.

Now Middletown officers, some of them not born in 1997, are dealing with another fatal police-involved shooting.

Becker said anytime there is a shooting, and police are involved, it creates “a lot of stress” in the department. He said it’s like “a wake up call” for the officers.

“They think, ‘That could have been me,’” he said. “They just have to take it one shift, one day at a time and don’t let their guard down.”

In 1997, the deadly shooting was investigated by the Middletown police department and there were no cruiser cameras, he said.

“Things are different today,” Becker said.

Middletown has cruiser cameras, but no body cameras.

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