Man shot, wounded in gunfight with Warren County deputy now charged

Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Office

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office charged a 56-year-old Deerfield Twp. man with attempted murder and felonious assault after he was shot Monday evening during a gunfire exchange with a deputy checking on his wellbeing at the request of his family.

Deputy Sara Vaught went to Lance C. Runion’s residence on a welfare check at 6:51 p.m. Monday in the 7800 block of Hunt Club Drive. After several minutes of repeated attempts to check on the resident, the front door opened and the suspect allegedly shot at the deputy standing on the front porch. Vaught returned fire and struck Runion several times.

Vaught was not injured and is on administrative leave during the investigation, Chief Deputy Barry Riley said. Runion remains in critical but stable condition. Due to his medical condition, investigators do not know when he will be able to make a court appearance.

Riley said the first-degree charges were filed in Mason Municipal Court and that the sheriff’s office will not rule out additional charges as the investigation continues and moves through the criminal justice system.

According to the calls for service, the suspect was slurring his speech and sent a message to family saying he loved them. The caller, the man’s brother, said the man indicated he had taken something and just wanted to go to sleep. The caller indicated there were guns in the house “but (he) doesn’t believe he will harm anyone or himself with the weapons.”

Vaught is a former Monroe police officer who has been with the sheriff’s office since 2014 and is assigned to Deerfield Twp. as a patrol deputy, Riley said. Vaught has additional roles in the agency, including crime scene unit and field training officer.

“We’re thankful that she wasn’t injured,” Riley said. “She is a phenomenal representative of this office. She was in the right place at the wrong time and she acted how a deputy sheriff should act.”

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