UPDATE: Butler County deputy shot Liberty Twp. suspect who pointed weapon in doorway, sheriff’s office says

An hourslong Liberty Twp. standoff that started Monday evening ended with the suspect shot and killed by law enforcement, officials said.

Deputies were first called just after 5 p.m. to a domestic violence report in the 6800 block of Yoakum Court in the Lakota Pointe Townhomes, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect, Junius Thomas, had kicked in the door there, and the female resident called 911.

The woman who made the 911 call fled. Thomas was armed and “extremely agitated” when deputies arrived, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies, who were briefly inside the residence but unable to take Thomas into custody, called for the SWAT team after exiting, so they called the SWAT team after going back outside, the sheriff’s office said. Contact continued with Thomas until there were about 90 minutes without communication.

That’s when the SWAT team used an armored vehicle to open the door, hoping to use a robot to check on Thomas. But Thomas closed the door, and when SWAT members again used the armored vehicle to open the door, Thomas “appeared in the doorway and raised his gun” toward the team members, the sheriff’s office said.

That’s when a deputy shot Thomas, and he died at the scene. The deputy, who has not been identified, is an eight-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, according to a news release.

“This is never the end result we look for in this type of incident but unfortunately, for the safety of the community and our law enforcement officers, it was a necessary one,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.

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