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Names of officers involved in fatal shooting released

Hamilton police shoot suspect holding knife to pharmacist’s throat.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. (Aug. 23):

Hamilton police have released the names of the officers involved in Monday morning’s fatal shooting of an aggravated robbery suspect.

Officer Kevin Ruhl, 33, a nine-year veteran Hamilton Police Department, shot the suspect Kelley Brandon Forte.

Also at the scene was Officer Danielle Sorber, 23, a one-year veteran of the department.

The names of the officers were released this afternoon by the police department.

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The investigation is ongoing and the case is still expected to be presented to a grand jury later this week, according to Sgt. Brian Robinson.

UPDATE, 11:15 a.m. (Aug. 23):

Kelley Brandon Forte, the aggravated robbery suspect from the fatal Walgreens officer-involved shooting on Monday, had been released from prison in December, according to Hamilton County Clerk of Courts and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records.

Forte, 34, had a lengthy criminal record in Hamilton County and was convicted in 2012 of aggravated vehicular assault and given a prison sentence of four years, mandatory two years, by Judge Robert Winkler.

Forte was released from prison Dec. 30 and was under three years of post-release control.

In March 2015, Forte petitioned the judge for early judicial release, which was denied by Winkler.

In his correspondence to the judge, Forte said he had a “minute” prison record and was an active student of Crossroad Bible Institute. A letter of support was included from an employee of the Bible institute.

Forte also said he had three children in “dire need of father” and ended the letter with “God Bless.”

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.:

Hamilton Police have identified the aggravated robbery suspect from the Walgreen’s officer-involved shooting early this morning as Kelley Brandon Forte, 34, of Cincinnati.

Police say they will release the name of the officers involved on Tuesday.

The case is expected to be presented to a Butler County grand jury for review by the end of the week, according to police and the prosecutor’s office.

UPDATE, 12:40 p.m. (Aug. 22):

The fatal officer-involved shooting this morning at Walgreens on High Street will be presented to a Butler County grand jury for review, according to county Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

It has been a policy since Gmoser took office that all officer-involved shootings be reviewed by a grand jury.

Gmoser told this news outlet that this morning’s fatal shooting of a man allegedly robbing the store and holding a pharmacist at knife point will be no different.

“That is protocol in this county, no matter how obvious the evidence should be,” Gmoser told this news outlet, adding there will be no question why one case is presented to a grand jury and another is not.

Police Chief Craig Bucheit said an investigation continues into the shooting.

“We are in the process of following up on interviewing the witnesses, collecting physical evidence and working through this investigation,” he said. “I can assure you that this will be a full, fair and impartial and transparent investigation.”

UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.:

More information about the two officers involved in the fatal shooting:

The first officer, who fired the fatal shots is a nine-year veteran of the Hamilton Police Department and is 33 years old, according to Bucheit.

The second officer is a one-year veteran of the police department and is 23 years old, according to Bucheit.

“Both officers have been placed on administrative leave as per our departmental policies,” he said.

UPDATE, 10:45 a.m.:

The 911 calls from this morning’s fatal officer-involved shooting indicates the suspect was seen jumping over the counter.

This news outlet received audio of two 911 calls that were made from the shooting scene.

In one call, a man told a dispatcher, “Dude hopped the counter.”

He said, “I seen him hop the counter… he is back there with one of the workers. I don’t know if he has got a gun, but he is back there with her.”

When the dispatcher asked if the man was threatening the employee, the caller said, “It looks a little suspect. I am not sure what is going on.”

A woman who is a store employee told dispatchers in a 911 call that “I had a customer just inform us that someone jumped our pharmacy counter.”

The employee said she could not pull up the area on the store’s surveillance cameras. She told the dispatcher that when she went back to check the pharmacist said she was okay, but she could not see her.

The Hamilton Police report of the incident at 1090 High Street says the suspect entered Walgreens, jumped the counter in the pharmacy and used a knife to force the victim to retrieve cash from the cash register.

UPDATE, 10:15 a.m.:

The scene of the fatal officer-involved shooting remains closed this morning.

Several Hamilton Police Department vehicles remain at the Walgreens, at 1090 High Street, where a robbery suspect was shot early this morning by police.

UPDATE, 9:10 a.m.:

Police initially responded to a 911 call about a customer going over the counter, according to Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit.

Bucheit says suspect was holding a pharmacist hostage with a knife to her throat. The suspect did not comply with police demands and was killed, according to Bucheit.

Two officers who responded to the scene are on leave, per department policy, he said.

The suspect has not been identified. At this time, police only know he is a black male in his 20s, according to Bucheit.

The officer who filed the fatal shot is a 9-year veteran of the department, according to Bucheit.

INITIAL REPORT:

A robbery suspect was shot and killed by a Hamilton police officer early this morning.

The incident happened around 2:30 a.m. this morning when officers responded to Walgreens, at 1090 High Street, for a suspicious call.

When officers arrived, they immediately realized an armed robbery was in progress, according to a release.

“The incident resulted in an officer involved shooting and the suspect was fatally wounded,” the release says.

The investigation is ongoing. A press conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. today.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

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