Officer, suspect in stable condition after cruisers rammed, suspect shot on U.S. 35

A Trotwood police officer and suspect are in stable condition after the suspect rammed two cruisers and was shot by law enforcement officers Monday on U.S. 35 in Dayton.

The officer was inside a police cruiser that the suspect’s white pickup truck ended on top of. The suspect was injured in the crash and also suffered gunshot wounds, Dayton police Chief Kamran Afzal said Wednesday.

The officer, who was not identified, has injuries that are not life-threatening, Trotwood police Chief Erik Wilson said.

The suspect was identified as 54-year-old James M. Skirvin. He has no known local criminal history outside of minor traffic infractions in the Dayton area, Afzal said.

He was charged with one count of felonious assault Wednesday for hitting his daughter with a white truck, according to Montgomery County Municipal Court - Western Division records.

She suffered injuries that were not life-threatening in the Trotwood pedestrian strike that resulted in the pursuit onto U.S. 35. The woman has since been released from a local hospital, Trotwood police said Tuesday.

Skirvin’s bond was set at $1.5 million, according to court documents.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

At 10:54 a.m. Monday, Trotwood police were dispatched to the Voyager Village mobile home park off West Third Street (U.S. 35) after a woman was struck by a pickup truck. As officers were responding, they learned the suspect, later identified as Skirvin, had a shotgun and a rifle, Afzal said.

While officers were on scene and providing aid to the injured woman, Skirvin reportedly drove past police at high speed in a white truck and pointed a long weapon at police.

Officers attempted to catch up to him for a traffic stop, but he headed east on U.S. 35, prompting multiple area law enforcement agencies to respond.

During the pursuit, officers learned via dispatch radio the suspect wanted to commit suicide by officer, Afzal said.

“The vehicle was observed driving erratically at a high rate of speed eastbound on U.S. 35,” he added. “At one point, the suspect entered the westbound lanes of travel, causing a Trotwood PD unit to take evasive action to avoid collision.”

Crews used tire deflation devices on U.S. 35 near South Gettysburg Avenue, but Skirvin continued to flee before making a U-turn at U.S. 35 and Abbey Avenue. Police also believe the suspect fired a shot in the area of the devices.

Officers shot at Skirvin as he was heading west and passed officers, Afzal said. They also reportedly saw him throw a long gun out of the truck.

Skirvin then drove across the road and hit a Trotwood cruiser and Montgomery County Sheriff’s cruiser near U.S. 35 and Liscum Drive. The white truck ended up on top of the Trotwood vehicle and pushed both cruisers onto the shoulder.

Multiple officers shot at Skirvin and then removed him from the truck before beginning to provide aid, Afzal said. A weapon also was recovered from the truck.

Seven Dayton officers, four Trotwood officers and two deputies fired their weapons during the incident.

It was not clear how many times Skirvin was shot.

The Trotwood officer was removed from the police cruiser and taken by cruiser to Miami Valley Hospital.

Afzal said the incident posed a threat to public safety.

“There was concern throughout the event to the public at large, our officers, to the individual that’s causing harm,” he said.

Wilson added it was a difficult incident to witness due to the closeness of the police department.

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

“I work with these guys day in and day out, so they become family,” he said. “It’s not different than if it was one of my family members.”

The chief said he’s hoping the officer makes a speedy recovery.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident. Afzal said he believed BCI planned to speak to officers about the incident Wednesday.

Trotwood police is also conducting an internal investigation, Wilson said previously.

He praised the department’s response, as well as the actions of other first responders.

“I’m very proud of all of them, as well as the Dayton officers as well as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office,” Wilson said. “I think they did a phenomenal job in a very, very tough situation.”

U.S. 35 was closed for more than eight hours Monday as crews investigated. It reopened around 8:15 p.m.

Dayton police asked anyone who witnessed the incident or who has video of it to sent it to or call the Ohio BCI at1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446).

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