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Miami Twp. police reveal officer who fired weapon in fatal shooting

UPDATE @ 11:52 a.m.:

Miami Twp. Police Chief Ron Hess identified Officer James McCarty as the officer who fired his weapon, ultimately leading to the death of Robert Edwards Wednesday morning.

Police responded to Edwards’ residence after receiving a report he may be suicidal from a woman identifying herself as his ex-girlfriend, according to records.

Hess released a timeline of the events leading to the fatal shooting:

  • 12:14 a.m.: Police responded to Edwards’ home on a report of a suicidal person
  • 12:24 a.m.: Officers James McCarty and Shawn Todd arrive on the scene and McCarty knocks on the door to encounter Edwards.
  • 12:29 a.m.: Officer Todd calls out for shots fired and requested assistance. He also began CPR and other officers arriving on the scene attempted other life-saving measures, but were unsuccessful, Hess said.

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The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now heading the investigation and Hess did not comment on any specifics of the investigation pending its outcome. Hess did say the department’s internal investigation will look into whether rules, procedures and policies were followed during the call.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office ruled Edwards died from multiple gunshot wounds and his death is listed as a homicide, a spokesperson said.

During a morning press conference, Hess showed two photographs showing the pellet gun that was recovered on the scene and a similar looking handgun. The photo to the left is the pellet gun recovered and to the right is a similar handgun.

Police Chief Ron Hess shows two pictures during Thursday's press conference on the fatal officer-involved shooting. To the left is the pellet gun recovered on the scene and to the right is a similar-in-style handgun. CHUCK HAMLIN / STAFF

The chief described the events that unfolded as “a tragedy for everybody involved.”

Hess said he plans to answer any outstanding questions during a later time once the investigation is complete.

UPDATE @ 9:26 a.m.:

Miami Twp. Police are expecting to provide an update on the officer-involved shooting case Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m.

INITIAL REPORT:

Robert Edwards, 33, was shot and killed by Miami Twp. police early Wednesday morning after officers said he refused to drop his weapon. 

The weapon was a pellet gun, officers later discovered.

RELATED: Family: Man killed in officer-involved shooting ‘wasn’t a bad guy’

Miami Twp. police responded to a call around 12:15 a.m. that a man was making suicidal threats, “drinking and ready to pull the trigger,” Miami Twp. police chief Ron Hess said. The call came from a woman who was not at Edwards’ house and who reported contact with him via social media.

RELATED: Miami Twp. officer-involved shooting marks 9th for Dayton-area in 2017

The woman who called the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center’s non-emergency phone line to report what she believed were suicidal thoughts, identified herself as an ex-girlfriend of Edwards.

“I’ve got a friend on my Facebook messaging me. He’s saying he’s got a beer and a loaded gun in his hand, wanting to pull the trigger,” the woman told police.

Once police arrived at Edwards’ home on Del Barton Avenue in the Oakwood Village mobile home park, they asked him to drop his weapon, Capt. John Magill. When he didn’t, they fired, Magill said. 

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Edwards was struck three times, police said.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Hess revealed the names of the police officers involved: James M. McCarty, 35, and Shawn Todd, 43. McCarty has 11 years of police experience and Todd has 15, he added. 

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At 12:31 a.m., McCarty and Todd reported that Edwards was down, prompting one of them to give Edwards CPR.

Police said the shooting occurred at the door of the mobile home, and McCarty and Todd did not go inside until after the shooting.

This news organization requested cruiser camera video, however cruiser camera video for the incident does not exist, Magill said.

Amber Plymesser and her two daughters, who were asleep, were in the mobile home at the time of the shooting. 

Plymesser told this news organization that she’s been friends with Edwards for years. 

“He was a great person. He was not violent at all,” Plymesser said. “He was a really good person. He’s going to be really missed by a lot of people.”

Shawna Stoff, the grandmother of Edwards’ son, said Edwards was a caring person. 

“If somebody needed a place to stay, he didn’t care if he knew them or not,” Stoff told this news organization. “I want the world to know he wasn’t a bad guy.”

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been asked to investigate the shooting. McCarty and Todd have both been put on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the BCI’s investigation.

Hess did not answer any questions in the press conference this morning and said he would have more to say on the incident Thursday. 

This Miami Twp. shooting is the ninth officer-involved shooting in the Dayton area in 2017, and the seventh that resulted in a death. This year’s number of area officer-involved shooting is four more than last year.

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