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Published: Saturday, August 17, 2019 @ 6:00 AM
MIDDLETOWN — A 22-year-old man from Middletown was shot Thursday night by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper after a pursuit and a struggle, at least the seventh shooting involving law enforcement in Butler County in the past five-plus years.
Devon Marion, 22, of Plymouth Street and formerly of Madison Twp, was transported by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital, where he was in stable condition Friday after being shot twice by the trooper, the patrol said.
At about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Trooper Michael Williams from the Hamilton Post attempted to stop a 2015 Chrysler 300 on Ohio 73 in the area of Ohio 4 for speed violation. The driver, identified as Marion, failed to stop, according to OSP investigators.
Williams initiated a short pursuit, but once speeds were high and the driver almost lost control and crashed near the intersection of Lafayette Avenue and Trine Street, the pursuit was terminated, said patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Cvetan.
A short time later, after the driver slowed down, Williams attempted to stop him again. Marion’s vehicle then became disabled and he fled on foot.
Williams engaged in a short foot chase before deploying his Taser, which did not strike Marion. Marion then engaged the trooper, who fired two rounds, striking the suspect in the stomach and armpit, troopers said.
“At this point we have not found that the suspect had a weapon, but we do know that the suspect engaged that trooper,” Cvetan said while at the scene early Friday morning.
On Friday, OSP Public Information Officer Lt. Robert Sellers, said he could not define what “engaged” meant in this incident.
“There was a struggle of some kind,” Sellers said.
Williams was transported with non-life threatening injuries to UC West Chester and was released from the hospital.
A passenger in the suspect’s vehicle was transported to a hospital for a medical condition unrelated to the incident, Cvetan said.
According to Middletown Municipal Court records, Marion was wanted on a warrant. He was scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 6 for a charge of driving under suspension after he was cited by Middletown police on July 27 at 2:30 a.m., according to police records.
Marion did not show up for arraignment, and court personnel said an additional bench warrant was in the process of being issued. But Marion was already wanted for failure to comply for fleeing the scene of an accident conviction in September 2018. He was placed on a year’s probation for that conviction.
Marion also has court charges in Middletown dating back to January 2018 for no operator’s license, driving under suspension, non compliance and disorderly conduct.
Williams, 27, is a five-year veteran of the force, beginning his career at the Lebanon post before moving to the Hamilton post in July 2017, according to Sellers.
Middletown police responded to assist in securing the scene as the state patrol did its investigation. The office did receive a call to assist with the attempted traffic stop, but the incident ended quickly.
“Before the officers could even exit the squad room, it was already done,” said Middletown police Maj. David Birk.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the facts will be presented to a grand jury, as they are for all law enforcement-involved shootings.
There have been at least six police involved shooting in the last four years in Butler County, including one last summer in Fairfield.
In June 2018, Fairfield officers were called to a townhouse in the 1500 block of Geolhot Drive for a woman who called 911 saying someone was stabbing her. Once on the scene, the two officers forced entry and found the man and victim in the bathroom.
In an attempt to stop the stabbing, one of the officers fired two shots, striking and killing Logan Willliamson, 37. The victim, Michelle R. Henry, later died of multiple stab wounds.
In 2014, a Fairfield officer shot and killed Caleb Surface, who the officers believed had a gun when they found him in a backyard of a subdivision. Surface was actually holding a cordless phone.
In June 2017, Butler County Sheriff’s deputy Taylor Henson shot and killed Jacob Faulkner in St. Clair Twp. Faulkner, a veteran who suffered from PTSD, was shooting at a passing train and was armed when deputies arrived.
As deputies surrounded a house in the 4100 block of Trenton Road, Faulkner, a New Miami High School graduate, walked around the garage and raised his rifle at Henson, who fired several shots.
In April 2017, Hamilton Police Officer Steven McFall shot and killed Michael Wilson-Salzl, 24, during a confrontation at an apartment complex on Forest Park Drive. Wilson-Salzl engaged McFall in a “confrontation” while carrying a butcher knife.
Wilson-Salzl charged at McFall while wearing a black mask and holding a knife, according to Hamilton police. Police say Wilson-Salzl then refused commands, and McFall fired three times.
In August 2016, Hamilton Police Officer Kevin Ruhl shot and killed a 34-year-old man in a robbery attempt at Walgreen’s on High Street.
In February 2014, an 18-year-old fired an AK-47 at a Hamilton police officer before the wounded officer killed him in a shootout. Officer Chad Stafford was shot in the head by Brandon Keeler, who was firing shots from a civilian-model AK-47 rifle at 11th Street and Sipple Avenue.