Candlelight vigil Saturday for man fatally shot by Monroe officers

A candlelight vigil is planned Saturday for a man fatally shot by Monroe police officers Feb. 11 near Ohio 63 and Garver Road.

In a statement released by attorney Konrad Kircher on behalf of the man’s family stating Dustin Booth’s loved ones are awaiting the results of the investigation of Dustin Booth’s shooting that happened hours after Monroe police were called do to his mental state.

Dustin Booth, 35, was the father of two sons. Was a “great” husband and father and coached the boys in multiple youth sports leagues, the family said .

Booth worked for Cleveland Cliffs for 13 years and he had a side business power washing and cleaning the exterior of homes. He had no criminal record, the statement said.

The family has many unanswered questions about Booth’s death, according to Kircher.

“Among those are the following: Why was it so hard to get help for Dustin? And why did the police organize a plan to take him into custody and then kill him, knowing he was mentally ill?,” according to the family statement.

The vigil will be at 8 p.m. Saturday at the scene of the shooting.

Five officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation of the fatal shooting, according to Police Chief Bob Buchanan. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the officer-involved shooting that is expect to be completed in two to three weeks.

Police say officers had contact with Booth beginning about 2:10 p.m. when his wife Brandi called 911stating her husband was experiencing a mental health crisis. She also said he was a danger to himself and to others.

Officers went to the the neighborhood where Booth drove to his Blue Grass Lane residence. He went inside without complying with officers trying to stop him, according to Monroe police.

When Booth left the house as a passenger in a vehicle, officers followed because there was a concern he was a danger to himself and the community. Officers followed to coordinate a traffic stop in and effort to take Booth into custody and have him transported to the hospital for mental health evaluation, according to police.

When Booth exited the vehicle, he failed to comply with the order of several officers and began walking away from the vehicle toward Ohio 63 with his hands up, according to police.

Officers attempted to take Booth into custody. That is when he brought his hands down and pulled a handgun from the area of his waistline. This caused several officers to fire their weapons striking him multiple times, police said.

The family said Booth had a psychotic break in late January.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 1, after a week consistently bizarre behavior, Booth’s family called police to obtain help for Dustin’s illness. A crisis intervention specialist arrived and confirmed he needed to be hospitalized and Booth was handcuffed without residence, according to the family.

Booth remained in the hospital’s behavioral health unit until Feb. 7, when he was discharged. The family does not believe he should have been discharged, as he was still delusional, according to Kircher.

Within two days of discharge, another incident occurred where Booth hit his wife’s cell phone with a hammer. The police were again called. The police came to the home and Brandi Booth and his mother both begged them to take him to the hospital, according to the statement. The police determined Booth had not done anything illegal and, since he was not a danger to himself or others, they could not take him to the hospital.

In the few days after being discharged, Booth went on a shopping spree, including the purchase of a new pickup truck. On the afternoon of Feb. 11, Brandi Booth was driving in their neighborhood when she saw her husband at a stop sign in his new truck. Dustin Booth got out of the truck and did a dance. He then got back in the truck and drove through the neighborhood trying to give money to people and throwing money out the window, according to the family statement.

Brandi Booth called 911. She told dispatch that Booth was “a danger to himself or others,” because that is the language she had learned was necessary to get him inpatient help, according to Kircher. All she wanted was for her husband to be hospitalized so he could be himself again, he said.

The police were at the residence for about five hours while trying to get Booth to come out.

“Eventually, the police gave up and withdrew, again stating that Dustin was not a threat to himself or others.” Kircher said in the statement.

When the police left the residence, a close friend of Booth arrived and entered the home. He and Booth relaxed and ate pizza. But the friend was communicating with Monroe police without Booth’s knowledge and was orchestrating, at police direction, a plan to get him out of the house so the police could seize him, according to the statement.

After the friend and Booth drove away from the house, the police executed a traffic stop, according to the plan concocted between the police and Booth’s friend. The culmination of the traffic stop was the death of Dustin Booth, according to Kircher.

Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove told the Journal-News last week that the preliminary autopsy report indicates Booth was shot 13 times. He was transported from the scene and died at Atrium Medical Center.

The Monroe Police officers involved and placed on administrative leave are Sgt. Caleb Payne, Officer Michael Doughman, Officer Skylar Halsey, Officer Micah Day and Officer Austin Whitt.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said as is his standard policy with all officer-involved shootings, when the investigation is completed, the evidence will be presented to a grand jury for review.

Staff Writer Rick McCrabb contributed to this report

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