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Miami Twp. police: Man made false active shooter call to distract police, help wanted suspect escape

Miami Twp. police officers are searching for a man who made a false 911 call, claiming there was an active shooter at a Meijer store to apparently help a wanted suspect escape.

Michael Landis

The incident started just before 1 p.m. Monday when a Miami Twp. officer patroling in the area of Cordell Drive recognized a man by the name of Michael Landis in the driveway of a home. Landis is wanted on multiple outstanding felony warrants in various jurisdictions, Miami Twp. police Capt. John Magill said Tuesday. 

The officer attempted to stop Landis, 34, but he barricaded himself inside a house in the 4500 block of Cordell Drive, Magill said. He refused to come out, and additional officers were called to the scene to arrest the suspect.

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But as they were attempting to get into the home, someone called 911 to report that a man had fired shots inside the nearby Meijer store in the 5800 block of Springboro Pike. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that he was hiding in the greeting cards aisle. 

“I just saw a gun and I ran,” the caller said, whispering when the dispatcher asked him if the gunman shot inside the store. The caller eventually responded to the dispatcher’s question. 

Meanwhile, several loud banging noises can be heard in the background of the 911 call. Magill said it was police attempting to enter the home where Landis barricaded himself. 

Then suddenly, the caller says, “oh my God, he’s coming, I gotta go, bye” and hangs up the phone. 

Immediately, Miami Twp. police put out a call for assistance as they responded to the store. Several other area police departments also responded, Magill said. When crews arrived at the Meijer store, they realized there was not an active shooter. 

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Miami Twp. officers returned to the house on Cordell, but the suspect was gone, said Magill who added that the suspect still was not in custody Tuesday afternoon.

Magill said he’s not sure whether Landis or another person made the false 911 call. But whoever made the call will be charged appropriately. 

“That could have been such a disaster,” Magill said. “The amount of risk that’s involved in these operations are tremendous. There’s a thousand ways for that to have been tragic, and thanks in large part to the judgment and restraints of the officers it was handled professionally.”

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Magill attributes the fact that no one was injured to the additional active shooter training officers in the Miami Valley have received since the 2014 fatal shooting of John Crawford in Beavercreek. Crawford was a customer at the Walmart store. He was shot after a customer and police confused the pellet gun he was carrying for a real weapon. 

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Active shooters aside, Landis was arrested in 2017 for theft related to CCW classes he was conducted in West Carrollton. It’s not clear whether any of the outstanding warrants for which he’s wanted are related to that case.

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