Police released body-worn camera footage Wednesday of the Sunday night gunfire exchange with officers that left a 41-year-old Miami Twp. man dead.
Fredrick A. Thomas died at his Fox Glove Way home in the South Point Villas condominium complex after police responded for the second time that night to a domestic disturbance, Miami Twp. Police Chief Charlie Stiegelmeyer said.
Officers were dispatched shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday to 8908 Fox Glove Way on a report that Thomas and his wife, Shannon, were arguing outside in front of a garage. Thomas’ wife said she wanted her husband to leave for the night. He had been drinking, so an officer gave him a ride to his sister’s house, a police report stated.
Police were dispatched again following a 911 call for help made at 9:09 p.m. from the same residence for the second domestic dispute involving the Thomases that night. Stiegelmeyer said during a Monday media briefing that it was still under investigation how Fredrick Thomas returned home.
In the 911 call, a woman shouted “get off of her” and another female yelled “get away from me.” The caller told the dispatcher she was arguing with “my husband” and said yes when asked whether they were “physically fighting.” She also said there were no weapons, according to the 911 recording.
Credit: Jordan Laird
Credit: Jordan Laird
When officers arrived around 9:19 p.m., they heard Thomas making threats, such as “I am ready for a shootout.” Stiegelmeyer said officers feared Thomas’ wife and child might have been harmed or were in harm’s way and at 9:20 p.m. knocked on the front door. That’s when Thomas started to open the door and said, “‘I will shoot you in your head’ and began firing a handgun at officers,” Stiegelmeyer said.
Officers returned fire and retreated as Thomas closed the front door and barricaded himself inside. Unbeknownst to police, Thomas was fatally shot during the gunfire exchange.
The three officers who fired their duty weapons were identified by Stiegelmeyer as detective Scott Miller, a 25-year police veteran with 16 years with the Miami Twp. Police Department; and officers William “Drew” Olinger, an eight-year police veteran with two years with the Miami Twp. Police Department and Austin Snowden, a 10-year police veteran with eight months with the Miami Twp. Police Department. They are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Miami Twp. police at the scene immediately requested the Montgomery County Regional SWAT Team. Negotiators tried more than a dozen times to call and text Thomas on his cellphone but he did not respond, according to incident reports. When SWAT team members were finally able to safely enter the residence around 1:24 a.m., they found Thomas unresponsive in a hallway next to the front door. They tried to render medical aid, but he was pronounced deceased, Stiegelmeyer said.
The shooting is under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. There has been no information released on what time Thomas is believed to have expired nor how many times and where on his body he was shot.
Miami Twp. police responded to three other previous domestic dispute calls involving the Thomases dating back to July 2018, according to township police reports.
During a July 15, 2018, call for service, Shannon Thomas said her husband refused to leave and that he was intoxicated and started an argument with her. Shannon Thomas agreed to leave for the night for a cooling off period, but despite numerous warnings Fredrick Thomas was creating a public disturbance outside, according to the report. Police struck him with a Taser when he began resisting after they tried to cite him for disorderly conduct. He was arrested for that charge and resisting arrest and was booked into the Montgomery County Jail, a report stated.
Police were called Nov. 22, 2018, on Thanksgiving, to a domestic dispute. The Thomases were arguing because Fredrick Thomas was supposed to prepare the family’s holiday meal while Shannon Thomas was working but instead had gone to a friend’s house, the report stated. Shannon Thomas said she wanted her husband to leave because he cussed her out and was yelling at the kids. They said no threats or violence happened, and Fredrick Thomas agreed to leave for the night.
Before Sunday, the most recent domestic disturbance was Feb. 18, 2020, when the Thomases were arguing and Shannon Thomas said her husband refused to leave. After police arrived, he did agree to leave for the night, the report stated.
A week later, police were called Feb. 25, 2020, when Fredrick Thomas’ 2011 Dodge Charger was being repossessed; however, there was no issue, according to the report.
Following the shooting, SWAT team members found two handguns inside the condo, including one near Thomas. At least one of the guns was fired three times, the chief said.
The Montgomery County Regional SWAT Team’s priority is to ensure the safety of officers and residents in the area, said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Christine Ton, who said she was unable to provide specific details about the team’s response in Miami Twp. because it remains under investigation by the BCI.
In addition to the prior police contacts, Stiegelmeyer said Thomas was a convicted felon who was not permitted to possess guns following arrests for other crimes such as felonious assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police officer, robbery and felony drug possession.
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