Armed man shot by police after ignoring orders

Published: Saturday, December 27, 2014 @ 6:58 AM
Updated: Sunday, December 28, 2014 @ 1:07 AM


            Amateur video shows what happened in Speedway shooting
Amateur video shows what happened in Speedway shooting

KEY POINTS

  • James A. Wright, 21, was armed outside a Speedway
  • Wright ignored repeated orders to drop his weapon
  • Deputy Joshua Haas shot Wright in the lower abdomen
  • Wright is at Miami Valley Hospital, but is expected to recover
  • Haas is a 10-year veteran on paid administrative leave

 

UPDATE @ 10:35 p.m.

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A 21-year-old man — who refused to comply with repeated orders to drop his armed with a handgun — was shot Saturday morning by a veteran Montgomery County deputy minutes after the man warned a Speedway clerk to go inside the store because of his anticipated confrontation with police.

Sheriff Phil Plummer said the gunman, James A. Wright, was in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital, but was expected to survive.

The sheriff said deputies spent several minutes trying to talk Wright into dropping the .40-caliber Ruger.

A cellphone video taken by George Furman, an RTA bus driver, shows 2½ minutes of deputies ordering Wright to drop the weapon he was holding in his right hand, down alongside his thigh. Multiple deputies can be heard repeatedly yelling, ” Put the gun down! Down! Drop the gun!” while Wright smoked a cigarette he held in his left hand.

“I heard the policemen do all they could do,” said Furman, who had stopped his bus at Speedway so he could go get a cup of coffee. “They tell him a million times to put it down and he won’t cooperate.”

Furman did not witness the shooting, which happened after authorities ordered Furman to move the bus.

Plummer said a Huber Heights officer fired three rounds of less-lethal bean bags at Wright, and that the suspect then reacted in a way that was threatening to the officers.

“After they hit him with the beanbag rounds he then raised his handgun up at the officers. At that time, one of the deputies shot him with a shotgun,” the sheriff said.

Deputy Joshua Haas, a 10-year veteran and K-9 handler, fired a shotgun at Wright, which struck him in the lower abdomen. Haas, described by Plummer as a “respected, top deputy,” is now on paid administrative leave, which is policy following an officer-involved shooting.

Wright remained hospitalized Saturday night at Miami Valley Hospital, but his family declined to allow the hospital to release his condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

UPDATE @ 4 p.m.

The deputy who shot Wright has been identified as Joshua Haas, 10-year veteran of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Wright lived at the apartment on Idle Hour Circle where investigators removed items this morning.

Plummer said Wright was shot in the stomach/pelvis region. He explained that if the shot had struck Wright higher in the torso area he would not likely have survived.

Plummer said Wright doesn’t have a criminal record. He said the only police contact that showed up in records was with Moraine police, in which he could have been a witness, a person of interest or a suspect in an unknown incident.

The sheriff’s office has not had an officer-involved shooting since June 2005 when Rennie “Robby” Moore was killed after allegedly trying to run over a deputy with a minivan at the Economy Inn and Lounge in Harrison Twp., according to Plummer.

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.

Investigators removed items, including a laptop and other electronic devices, from a basement apartment off Idle Hour Circle by the Meadows of Catalpa.

The suspect who was shot may have been living there or visiting someone who lives there, but officials did not say what the connection is to the officer-involved shooting investigation.

Neighbor Alycia Howard said she heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot early in the morning. Howard said she recently moved up from Georgia and thought the apartment she settled on would be a safe area.

“I kind of want to move,” Howard said. “I have a 2-year-old son. I don’t want him in that type of neighborhood, it’s too close … I can look out my window and see everything that’s happening.”

UPDATE @ noon

A man called 911 to report hearing a total of six gunshots near his condominium on Lansmore Drive, according to the 911 record from the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

The caller told the dispatcher he heard four back-to-back gunshots then two additional shots coming from the area of the Meadows of Catalpa apartments off Indian Runn Drive.

The suspect’s name has not been released. Sheriff Phil Plummer said the deputy who was involved is a 15-year veteran and K9 handler for the sheriff’s office. He fired a single round from a shotgun after the suspect raised the handgun up and pointed it at the officers, according to Plummer.

UPDATE @ 10:06 a.m.

A 21-year-old man armed with a handgun was shot by a Montgomery County deputy and was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in critical condition, according to Sheriff Phil Plummer.

It happened after a confrontation at the Speedway between the man, deputies and Huber Heights police.

Plummer said prior to the confrontation, deputies responded to a shots fired call at the Meadows of Catalpa.

Deputies didn’t find anything there, but upon pulling into the gas station to refuel, they encountered the man sitting on a trash can by the front door. They soon learned he was carrying a gun.

Plummer said the man refused to put the gun down. Huber Heights police then fired three, less-lethal bean bag rounds at the man, but he still refused to put the weapon down.

“The individual was given ample opportunity to drop the weapon,” Plummer said. “There was at least a 4-minute dialog between the officers and the suspect to drop the weapon. They tried an alternative, less lethal bean bag round to get him to drop the weapon. The guy escalated the situation where we had to use lethal force.”

The man was in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital. Plummer said he expects the man will survive.

The man was carrying a .40-caliber Ruger handgun, according to Plummer.

The suspect did not fire upon the officers at the gas station, Plummer said, but it’s believed he fired shots at the nearby Meadows of Catalpa, where deputies were initially dispatched.

UPDATE @ 9:45 a.m.

North Main northbound lanes are blocked, but southbound lanes are open.

Top officials with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office are on scene.

No official information about what happened has been released.

According to scanner traffic, a Montgomery County deputy pulled into the Speedway gas station at approximately 6:23 a.m.

The officer reported back to dispatch there was a man with a gun and the man refused to put the gun down, according to scanner traffic.

The distress call was made and other jurisdictions responded to the scene, including Huber Heights, Butler Twp., Dayton and Clayton police.

BREAKING REPORT

Multiple police jurisdictions have responded to the 5000 block of North Main Street in Harrison Township after an officer gave a “Signal 99” distress call around 6:30 a.m.

There have been reports of shots fired in the area, but its unknown right now if anyone has actually been shot.

We’ll continue to update this page with more information when it becomes available.