Man fatally shot by Hamilton police officer ‘mentally disturbed’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Butler County grand jury declines to indict officer in fatal shooting

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Grand jury issues ‘no indictment’ in Hamilton officer-involved shooting.

Statements from witnesses, a 911 call and evidence recovered at the scene all led a grand jury to return a “no indictment” decision in the case in which a Hamilton Police officer fatally shot a man police said confronted the officer with a knife.

MORE: 911 caller lured Hamilton police with report of shooting

Officer Steven McFall, 41, shot and killed Michael Anthony Wilson-Salzl, 24, at about 3 p.m. April 22 in the parking lot of Knollwood Crossing apartments. Police said McFall fired after Wilson-Salzl engaged in a “confrontation” while carrying a butcher knife.

Wilson-Salzl was “mentally disturbed with serious psychiatric conditions with a history of suicidal ideation and attempts,” according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser, who announced the decision Monday.

According to Gmoser, Wilson-Salzl used a fake pistol in 2016 to encourage a police officer to shoot him.

EXCLUSIVE: Officer-involved shooting database

Andi Luttrell, who lived across the hall from Wilson-Salzl, told the Journal-News that Wilson-Salzl was trying to commit “suicide-by-cop” last year.

She described Wilson-Salzl as “not happy” and said he had mental issues.

NEIGHBOR: Man lived in apartment complex where he was shot by officer

Wilson-Salzl painted a chaotic scene of a man waving a gun and then shooting someone during a 911 call he made just before the encounter with McFall.

But police said they found no evidence of such a shooting when they arrived just after 3 p.m. at the Knollwood Crossing apartments.

Gmoser said Wilson-Salzl had been released from the hospital psychiatric care the day before the shooting.

“He called 911 to falsely report shots fired by an unknown black assailant in the parking lot of his apartment residence causing the immediate response (police),” Gmoser said.

OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS: Police cleared in recent local incidents

Wilson-Salzl, wearing a black mask, charged at McFall as he exited his police car, according to Gmoser.

Wilson-Salzl “had both of his arms raised and was holding a butcher knife in one hand in an assaultive manner,” Gmoser said. He was within 12 feet of the officer when he was ordered to put down the knife.

“(McFall) fired three shot center mass as proper protocol under these circumstances, stopping the assault and resulting in the death of Mr. Salzl,” Gmoser said.

McFall, is heard in the 911 call saying, “put it down, put it down.”

Then he tells dispatch shots fired.

FIRST REPORT: Man confronts officer with butcher knife 

Wilson-Salzl died of gunshot wounds, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

McFall is a 17-year veteran of the Hamilton Police Department.

Hamilton police are scheduled to release more information about the shooting on Tuesday, which will likely include cruiser camera video.

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