A Fairifeld police officer shot and killed a man early Friday morning as the suspect stabbed a woman in the bathroom of a Gelhot Drive residence, according to Police Chief Steven Maynard.
Dispatchers received a 911 call at 5:49 a.m. to a townhouse located in a quiet neighborhood off Pleasant Avenue. A female caller blurts out the address then continues to scream for help during the three-minute, 20-second call.
“He’s stabbing me!” the woman screams once.
The dispatcher continues to ask the woman to repeat the address.
“Please yell your address to me so I can send help,” the dispatcher says. “Shout your address, your apartment number.”
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One of the officers says: “I heard someone yell ‘help!’”
The dispatcher said an officer is outside if someone could run outside and flag him down.
When Officer Bryan Carnes and Sgt. Aaron Meyer got to the residence, they forced entry and ran up the steps, Maynard said.
“(They) made their way to an upstairs bathroom where they encountered a male and a female. The male was stabbing the female. Officer Bryan Carnes, who was the first officer to make it to the bathroom, fired several rounds from his pistol striking the male and stopping the initial threat,” Maynard said during a press conference four hours after the incident.
The woman was transported to Mercy Fairfield Hospital where she died, according to police. The man died at the scene.
Names of the victims were not been released Friday by police or the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Martin Schneider, coroner’s officer administrator, expected autopsies to be conducted Saturday. Fairfield police said Friday afternoon more information could be released Saturday.
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken over the investigation, Maynard said. As is standard procedure, the two officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.
“My concerns are with the officers involved,” the chief said. “It was a very traumatic incident for my officers. We brought in some teams to try to address that and make sure they are taken care of. It is a sad day.”
The chief said there is body camera footage of the incident and once BCI and the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office “deems appropriate, we will release it.”
Carnes is a three-year veteran of the force. He previously worked for Englewood Police Department, north of Dayton, according to the chief. He received a good review in October, with the preparer stating, “Officer Carnes is a very well rounded officer who has taken on additional responsibilities within the organization. He is an asset to the department.”
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the incident will be presented to a grand jury of review when the investigation is completed. It is Gmoser’s policy that all officer involved shootings are presented to a grand jury.
“If I am selective, it gives implication that there is something to the ones that go to grand jury,” Gmoser said. “Plus in the 21st Century, I think it is appropriate for officer involved shootings to get a look with a public eye through the grand jury process.”
The last officer involved shooting in Fairfield was in 2014 when Caleb Surface was shot and killed by then-Fairfield Officer Scott Conklin. A Butler County grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Conklin after he fatally shot 23-year-old Surface, who he believed had a gun when he found him in a subdivision the night of Jan. 18, 2014.
Surface had actually been holding a cordless phone he had taken from his father’s home.
A wrongful death lawsuit is pending in federal court involving the shooting.
Other recent Butler County officer involved shooting are:
- In June 2017, Butler County Sheriff’s deputy Taylor Henson shot and killed Jacob Faulker in St. Clair Twp.
Faulker, a veteran who suffered from PTSD, was shooting at a passing train and armed when deputies arrived.
As deputies surrounded a house in the 4100 block of Trenton Road, Faulkner, a New Miami High School graduate, walked around the garage and raised his rifle at Henson, who fired several shots. A grand jury declined to indict the officer.
- In April 2017, Hamilton Police Officer Steven McFall shot and killed Michael Wilson-Salzl, 24, during a confrontation at an apartment complex on Forest Park Drive. Wilson-Salzl engaged McFall in a “confrontation” while carrying a butcher knife.
Following an investigation, evidence was presented to a Butler County grand jury that declined to return charges against the officer.
Gmoser said the grand jury considered evidence including witness accounts and the history of the man who was killed. He said Wilson-Salzl had called in a false report of shots fired.
Wilson-Salzl charged at McFall while wearing a black mask and holding a knife, according to Hamilton police. Police say Wilson-Salzl then refused commands and McFall fired three times.
Gmoser said the investigation found Wilson-Salzl was mentally disturbed with a history of suicidal attempts and had lured the officers to the scene with a false 911 call.
- In August 2016, Hamilton Police Officer Kevin Ruhl shot and killed a 34-year-old man in a robbery attempt at Walgreen’s on High Street. A Butler County grand jury reviewed the incident, assisted with surveillance tapes from the store, and declined to indict the officer.
- In February 2014, an 18-year-old fired an AK-47 at a Hamilton police officer before the wounded officer killed him in a shootout. Officer Chad Stafford was shot in the head by Brandon Keeler, who was firing shots from a civilian-model AK-47 rifle at 11th Street and Sipple Avenue.