LIMA — Facing a man with what appeared to be either a rifle or shotgun and a threat that he would shoot any cop who came to his house, two officers fired their handguns to stop him, authorities said Monday.
Auglaize County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Price, a two-year veteran, and St. Marys Police Officer Lucas Turpin, a five-year veteran, fired on Brad L. Scheer as he walked out of a home at 601 Derrick St. carrying a long gun about 10 p.m. Wednesday, said Interim St. Marys Police Chief Tim Eberle.
The gun, however, turned out to be a pellet or BB gun, but officers had no idea and only saw a long gun at night, Eberle said.
“When he raised it up toward the officers, they shot,” Eberle said. “I believe our officers did exactly as they were trained to do, and I stand behind them 100 percent.”
Authorities believe Scheer was intoxicated at the time of the incident. Scheer called 911, threatening to shoot any officer who came over while complaining about trash in the street, Eberle said.
Scheer was released from the hospital Sunday and taken to the Auglaize County jail where he is being held on the charge of aggravated menacing. Additional charges are expected, Eberle said.
Scheer is known to officers in the area. Auglaize County Municipal Court records show Scheer was convicted of using weapons while intoxicated in 1993 and received a six-month jail sentence with 45 days suspended. He was convicted last year of telephone harassment and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Scheer was convicted 2008 of drunken driving and sentenced to six days in jail, according to St. Marys police records. He attempted suicide in 1993 and was sentenced to six months in jail for violating his probation.
Scheer also has two criminal damaging convictions from 1985 for which he did 90 days jail; disorderly conduct and public intoxication convictions from 1986, and persistent disorderly and drunken driving convictions from 1991 which he received a 60-day suspended jail sentence.
Scheer is expected to make a court appearance sometime this week in Auglaize County Municipal Court.
Officers fired fewer than five shots during the incident at a distance likely to be less than 25 feet. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation was called in to handle the investigation since it was an officer-involved shooting, authorities said.
“We believe it was an appropriate number of shots. We’re not going to disclose the number at this point due to the investigation,” Eberle said.
The investigation may be able to tell whether one officer or both fired shots that struck Scheer. The St. Marys officer fired a handgun that uses .45 caliber rounds while Auglaize County fired .40 caliber rounds, authorities said.
The rifle Scheer had is in the possession of BCII. Eberle and Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon did not have information on whether it was loaded when Scheer walked out of the house.
The shooting for the St. Marys department was the first time an officer has had to shoot a person since 1939. The last happened when St. Marys Officer Harry Critten came upon 24-year-old Harry O’Leary, who broke into a meat market. Critten fatally shot the man, who was from Lima, Eberle said.
The Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office had a fatal shooting in January 2011 when a former St. Marys police officer, Dennis Slone, 42, of Waynesfield, threatened deputies with a gun. This was said to be a suicide-by-cop incident.
Both agencies will keep their officers on leave for as long as needed, but since the shooting was not a fatality it shouldn’t be too long before they return to work. In addition to the criminal investigation, each agency will conduct an internal investigation to determine whether each officer complied with his department’s use of force policy, authorities said.
On the 911 call obtained last week, Scheer said: “I’ll shoot whoever comes over. … I said I’m going to shoot the first cop that comes over here.”
As officers arrived, he walked out of the home holding the rifle, authorities said.