DAYTON — A journalist was shot after a Clark County deputy apparently mistook his camera equipment for a weapon almost one year ago.
Andy Grimm, a photographer for the New Carlisle News, has a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Dayton against the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County and city of New Carlisle.
News Center 7’s James Buechele sat down with Grimm Wednesday to talk about that night and his lawsuit, which recently was amended.
In the statement of facts, Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett admits Deputy Jacob Shaw was not certified to carry a gun when he shot Grimm.
“We were operating in good faith that the sheriff’s department and the city of New Carlisle and Clark County were going to do the right thing. In our opinion they haven’t,” Grimm said.
This is why Grimm said he and his attorney filed the amendment to update his lawsuit originally initiated in December 2017 with more specific details.
“When I close my eyes, the whole moment comes through. It’s every night, it’s constant. It never goes away,” he said.
It was nighttime when Grimm pulled up to a traffic stop on the night of Sept. 4, 2017. As he approached the scene, carrying a camera and tripod, Shaw shot him from inside his cruiser. He never warned him and was never told to drop what he was carrying before the shooting, Grimm said.
“The shooting wasn’t an accident. He didn’t accidentally pull his gun out. He didn’t accidentally pull the trigger. He purposefully did this stuff. He didn’t accidentally shoot me,” Grimm said.
The lawsuit focused on parts of a deposition from Burchett. In it, she admitted there was no paperwork to show Shaw was certified to carry a weapon in 2017, which he was required to renew annually.
“I ended up getting shot by a guy who was illegally carrying a firearm,” Grimm said.
“He definitely did not give me a warning,” he said.
The lawsuit also contends that Shaw did not have the state-required 13 weeks of field training. At the time of the shooting, he was one week shy of that amount and should not have been on the road unsupervised.
Since the lawsuit was filed, there were text messages sent by Burchett that were unflattering to Grimm, and according to a statement of facts, the sheriff “had a personal vendetta to discredit Andy.”
Grimm said prior to the shooting not one deputy complained of unsafe behavior on his part. Since then, Grimm said deputies fabricated and exaggerated stories about him unsafely approaching law enforcement officers at scenes.
News Center 7’s James Buechele tried to reach the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Burchett. Once they respond, we will update this report.