Authorities said the gunfire of police and a Hedges Street homicide suspect who shot himself through his head is being reviewed in the latest Dayton officer-involved shooting.
Erik Michael Evans, 32, died after shooting himself while Officer Conner Matlock fired shots after seeing Evans’ weapon during a scene that unfolded within seconds just after 12:30 a.m. at a Shell Station at Free Pike and North Gettysburg Avenue on Tuesday, authorities said.
It was the second fatal shooting involving area law enforcement in the past eight days, records show. On Oct. 21, a fleeing suspect was fatally shot by an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Jason L. Whitner, 27, in Trotwood.
“Everything transpired fairly quickly,” Assistant Dayton Police Chief Eric Henderson said of the fifth officer-involved shooting in his department this year.
RELATED: Previous officer-involved shootings
“The officer saw a weapon produced, and he heard a gunshot,” Henderson said. “We’re still working on exactly what happened.”
Henderson did not indicate Matlock acted improperly but said the DPD’s Professional Standards Bureau will review the actions surrounding the shooting.
Evans, who had addresses listed in Brookville and Arcanum, was wanted in connection with the Monday East Dayton homicide of an unidentified woman on Hedges and was believed to be armed, Henderson said.
He had a felony arrest record dating back to 2005, the latest coming Oct. 15 by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for having weapons under disability and improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle, police said.
Henderson said officers believed him to be armed when they approached the vehicle he was a passenger in just before the shooting.
“If an officer feels threatened or (they feel) an innocent citizen is threatened,” they have authority to fire their weapon, Henderson said.
Matlock, a two-year veteran, had a one-day suspension after oral reprimand in 2018 involving the failure to secure a prisoner during transport, police said. He also had counseling in 2017 after a cruiser accident.
He has been placed on paid administrative leave, standard policy by the department.
With Matlock standing outside the driver’s side door and the suspect in the front passenger seat, Evans pulled out a gun with his right hand, prompting the officer to draw his weapon, Henderson said.
It appears Evans aimed the gun at his own head, fired and the bullet passed through his skull, piercing the driver’s side door near Matlock, Henderson said.
Matlock fired four rounds, Henderson said, all hitting the vehicle.
Evans, “without question, suffered a self-inflicted wound,” Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger said.
After the shooting, a call for officer assistance was issued as an officer called “shots fired” over his radio, records show.
Neighborhood resident Elaine Marsh, who lives more than a block away, said she was startled by the gunshots.
“There were three shots right together,” Marsh said. “They were very loud. As a matter of fact, it sounded like it was right in my backyard.
“And I looked out the window and later I heard sirens. And all of sudden they stopped,” she added. “So I figured it had to be someplace close.”
Both fatal shootings involving law enforcement this month occurred in the early mornings hours. Joseph Bernhard-William Kiser, 21, of Granville died after being wounded by Whitner just after 1 a.m. Oct. 21.
Authorities said Kiser was shot after ignoring the trooper’s commands following a nine-minute pursuit.
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