911 caller lured Hamilton police with report of shooting

Police found no evidence of a shooting before fatal encounter with suspect.

A police officer was sent to a Hamilton apartment complex Saturday after a 911 caller painted a chaotic scene of a man waving a gun and then shooting someone.

But police said they found no evidence of such a shooting when they arrived just after 3 p.m. at the Knollwood Crossing apartments.

The man making that 911 call appears to be the same person later shot by the Hamilton police officer who responded to the scene.

Officer Steven McFall shot and killed 24-year-old Michael Wilson-Salzl during a confrontation Saturday at the apartment complex on Forest Park Drive, according to police. Police said Wilson-Salzl engaged McFall in a “confrontation” while carrying a butcher knife.

Wilson-Salzl died of gunshot wounds, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

FIRST REPORT: Man confronts officer with large knife 

Police have said there were no signs of the initial shooting reported to them.

In the six-minute call released Tuesday, a man who says his name is Thomas Billy called 911 at 2:58 p.m. and had trouble giving dispatchers his exact address — originally telling them he was in Fairfield — before saying, “Somebody is out with a gun. Somebody is waving a gun around.”

After more questions, dispatchers determined the man was calling from Forest Park Drive in Hamilton.

Then the caller tells the dispatcher, “I think he just shot somebody … I think he is going to do it again.”

NEIGHBOR: Man lived in apartment complex where he was shot by officer

He describes the shooter as a black male wearing black pants and a yellow shirt. He says he is looking out a window of his apartment, but later says he is outside by the trash.

“I ran outside, that’s how scared I am,” he responded when the dispatcher asked why he would go outside if there was a person shooting a gun.

At one point he also tells the dispatcher the man tried to shoot him and he describes seeing a person shot on the ground bleeding.

Then the caller is heard running.

“Where are you running to?” the dispatcher asks.

But he says he is still by the trash.

EXCLUSIVE: Officer-involved shooting database

Seconds later, the responding police officer, McFall, is heard saying, “put it down, put it down.”

Then he tells dispatch shots fired.

The dispatcher continues to yell, “Thomas, Thomas,” and the phone line goes dead.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit declined to comment on the 911 call released Tuesday, saying it would not be appropriate to comment until the investigation is complete.

OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS: Police cleared in recent local incidents

The investigation is expected to be submitted to the Butler County prosecutor’s office this week and presented a grand jury for consideration, which is a policy of Prosecutor Michael Gmoser in all incidents of officer-involved shootings.

McFall was not wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, but his cruiser did have a camera.

Investigators will review that cruiser camera video, Bucheit previously said.

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