‘This was not appropriate’: Cincinnati chief says of officer-involved shooting in Colerain Twp.

Shooting a suspect in the back outside a Colerain Twp. gas station on was “definitely not an appropriate use of force” for the officer who pulled the trigger Tuesday, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said in a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Officer John Brown, a plainclothes investigator with the Cincinnati Police Department’s violent crimes unit, said the shooting was an accident, our news partner, WCPO-TV, reported.

"It appears, and by the officer's own explanation, this probably was not appropriate," Isaac said, then corrected himself. "Not probably. This was not appropriate."

Isaac said plainclothes officers had observed Andre Thomas, 27, taking part in several drug deals in Mt. Airy. The officers called for backup and followed him when he drove away from the scene.

Officers followed Thomas to a Shell gas station on Compton Road in Colerain Twp. Police from multiple nearby agencies, including the Colerain Twp. Police Department, helped box him and prevent him from driving away, Isaac said.

Unable to flee in his vehicle, Isaac said Thomas attempted to break through the line of officers on foot. One officer shocked him with a Taser.

Seconds later, Brown shot him once in the back.

Isaac said that Brown and other officers on the scene said the shot was fired accidentally — Brown had drawn his weapon when Thomas ran toward him, resulting in a physical scuffle that ended with Brown falling on top of Thomas and the gun going off.

However, because Brown is a plainclothes officer, he was not wearing a body camera at the time. Isaac said his department was attempting to reconstruct the event with Colerain officers' body camera recordings and security video from the Shell station.

Thomas was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he underwent surgery overnight.

Doctors moved him out of the intensive care unit on Wednesday and expect him to recover, Isaac said. He will be charged with resisting arrest and felony drug possession.

Brown has been placed on administrative leave and will be the subject of multiple investigations: A criminal investigation by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office; an internal, administrative investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department; and an independent review by the Citizen Complaint Authority.

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