Chief: Man shot by police may have been fixated on coronavirus pandemic

DAYTON — Dayton police say the man shot by police around 3 a.m. Tuesday may have been fixated on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on him.

Dispatchers received five separate 911 calls about Derek Wolfe, 35, who was later shot by police, according to Dayton Police Chief Biehl.

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The series of 911 callers described a man standing in a backyard yelling and threatening to shoot someone and referencing the virus, drones and China.

In the fourth 911 call, a man told police that the suspect was firing shots from a rifle, Biehl said.

After receiving the 911 calls, officers arrived to the scene in the area of Lynnhurst Avenue and Chelsea Avenue to find a man standing with an AK-47 type rifle.

Police say they commanded Wolfe to put his weapon down but he ignored their requests and continued toward them while pointing his weapon at officers and neighboring houses.

Five officers then fired shots at Wolfe, said Biehl.

Even after securing the weapon and beginning life-saving measures on Wolfe, police say he gestured with a finger gun at the officers.

A confirmed motive has yet to be found, but police believe the information they have gathered indicate Wolfe may have been fixated on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on him.

Detectives will be meeting with Montgomery County Prosecutors regarding potential criminal charges and the Professional Standards Bureau will be handling the administrative investigation, according to the Dayton Police Department.

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Multiple surrounding roads were closed and police were on scene for several hours placing at least 40 evidence markers down to investigate, according to our crews out on the scene.

Wolfe has undergone multiple surgeries and is in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital.

Several weapons and 3,800 rounds of ammunition were recovered from Wolfe’s home.

The only prior record police have on Wolfe is an arrest in 2005 for a minor drug charge, they said.

Chief Biehl said he is grateful for the calls that the community members made that helped officers know what was happening and the lethal circumstances they might face.