Suspect, officer involved in Fairfield Twp. shooting identified

A 29-year-old man shot by a Fairfield Twp. police officer on Wednesday evening has been charged with two counts of felonious assault.

Fairfield Twp. Police Chief Robert Chabali conducted a news conference Friday afternoon to share 911 calls and in-vehicle and body-worn cameras related to what occurred ahead of the Nov. 2 incident where Brian Hubbard, who has autism and lives with his parents in the Carmargo Trailer Park in the 5500 block of Liberty-Fairfield Road, threatened to harm any officer that shows up.

As township police officers Adam Green and Richard Coy spoke with the suspect’s mother ― they could see Hubbard pacing inside the trailer ― and tried to control a growing crowd of neighbors, Hubbard came out with what was described as a 6-to-8-inch long butcher’s knife and a hammer.

The officers could be heard yelling orders, “put the weapon down now,” “put it down, put it down now,” and “back up” several times.

Then multiple shots were fired.

Though Chabali wouldn’t comment as to how many shots were fired, nor how many struck Hubbard, it appeared based on the video footage that five shots ― a burst of three and then a burst of two ― were fired. The police report indicated five shell casings were recovered.

Chabali said Green was the only officer to fire at Hubbard.

Chabali said the officers’ service weapons were drawn instead of Tasers because of the police department’s use of force policy, which states that deadly force is justified “to protect him/herself or others from what he/she reasonably believes would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.”

With the known threats against police, Chabali said the knife and a hammer were, at that point, considered lethal weapons.

“The suspect is closing the distance to him, so I believe an officer does not have to get injured to use that type of response,” the chief said.

Additionally, the chief said that “most vests don’t protect against a knife like that.”

After Hubbard was struck, the weapons were placed on the ground and he fled to the trailer. Green, followed by Coy, entered the trailer chasing Hubbard. Green tackled him, who was handcuffed behind his back immediately. Once Hubbard was secured, the officers began first aid until the requested medical units arrived.

This is the first-ever officer-involved shooting in Fairfield Twp. to Chabali’s knowledge, who has been the department’s chief since 2017.

Hubbard is under the medical care of Butler County Crisis Care. A member of the crisis care team called 911 after speaking with Hubbard’s parents. She told dispatchers that the 29-year-old is “delusional, significantly agitated; threatening to hurt the police if they come, but no one else has been threatened.”

This is not the first time the township police have been to the Hubbard trailer. They were at the address in mid-August 2021, according to the department. It was reported that Hubbard was “walking around the park having psychosis. Is combative and autistic.” He was taken to the Atrium Medical Center and held.

Almost two months later, on Oct. 1, 2021, Hubbard had been “threatening to burn down the house and hit his mother. Also threatening suicide,” according to the township police department.

Early reports indicated Hubbard was shot in the chest, but Chabali wouldn’t comment as to where Hubbard, nor how many times, he was struck. He did confirm he is in an area hospital and alive. Once Hubbard is released from the hospital, he will be arrested on the two felonious assault charges. Chabali said the charges could change once the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office reviews the case.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is investigating the officer-involved shooting, and Chabali said that could take up to 90 days, though he said he hoped it would be less than that. Once BCI’s investigation is complete, Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, as per his office’s policy, will present the officer-involved shooting incident to the Butler County grand jury.

Chabali said they are conducting their own internal investigation on the shooting.

Green and Coy are on paid administrative leave until a psychological evaluation report is completed, as per department policy.