Officers involved in deadly Celina shooting won’t face charges

CELINA — The Celina police officers involved in a deadly shooting of a St. Mary’s man last year will not face charges.

A Mercer County grand jury declined to indict the officers on charges connected to the August 2023 shooting death of Corey Andrew, 24, last week, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to News Center 7.

Van Wert County Prosecutor Eva Yarger served as the special prosecutor in the case. She led the investigation and presented the case to a grand jury.

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As News Center 7 previously reported, Officer David Powell was on patrol on State Route 29 during the early morning hours of Aug. 25. While on patrol, he noticed an SUV parked near Eastview Park which was closed.

Powell parked his car near the parking lot entrance and approached the vehicle on foot. Two adults were inside of the vehicle, who were identified as Corey Andrew and Hannah Pawelski.

Police previously stated that a strong odor of marijuana was coming from the vehicle. Officer Justin Rice arrived on the scene for assistance and asked for identification between the occupants of the vehicle about the marijuana.

Andrew refused to provide identification or hand over the marijuana cigarette, which was described to be in plain sight.

Powell explained to Andrew that he would only receive a misdemeanor citation, at which point Andrew put his vehicle in gear and “accelerated suddenly and rapidly” into the grass and turned back into the parking lot, Celina Police Chief Tom Wale previously said.

Both Powell and Rice ran back to the patrol cars near the exit of the park. Wale said Andrew turned back towards the officers and continued to “accelerate hard.”

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The officers separated and the car came directly towards Rice.

Wale said Rice believed he could not escape and in response fired his weapon at the vehicle.

Pawelski got out of the vehicle and stated that Andrew had been shot and that there was a baby in the car. Wale said officers were unaware there was a baby in the car up until this point. The baby was uninjured.

Officers began life-saving measures on Andrew until medics arrived and transported him to Mercer Health Hospital in Coldwater where he was pronounced dead.

Wale said Rice suffered serious injuries as a result of the incident, including a concussion as well as neck injuries.

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