LIMA — Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia during a Friday morning press conference declined to identify the member of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and West Central Ohio Crime Task Force who was involved in a shooting Thursday morning that left a Lima man dead at his north side home.
Keith Burkholder, 57, of 218 W. Michigan Ave., Lima, was shot and killed during the raid at that address, according to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.
During Friday’s press conference, Treglia said the Lucas County Coroner’s Office was conducting an autopsy on the shooting victim and that the identity of the victim would be released once that autopsy was complete.
Detective Lt. Jamie Webb of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office on Friday afternoon revealed the identity of the victim to The Lima News. The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is serving as the lead investigatory agency into the SWAT team shooting, having been selected for that role by the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.
In limited information released surrounding the shooting, authorities on Thursday said only that an adult male was shot and killed during the execution of a search warrant at the West Michigan Avenue residence.
During Friday’s press conference, Treglia said task force officers, in conjunction with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, were conducting an investigation into activities at the residence. The sheriff said undercover officers were able to purchase suspected illegal drugs — later confirmed to be fentanyl — from individuals in the home. The task force subsequently obtained a search warrant for the residence, which was served at approximately 8:40 a.m. Thursday.
Treglia said during the press conference that when officers entered the home, “an adult male confronted the SWAT team with a firearm inside the residence. Gunfire was exchanged, and the suspect subsequently died.”
The sheriff also noted that an adult female and minor child were also inside the residence at the time of the incident and were safely removed by SWAT officers.
The sheriff said a “significant” amount of contraband was recovered from the residence, including multiple firearms, suspected fentanyl, suspected heroin, synthetic marijuana and U.S. currency.
Treglia said fentanyl and heroin “have been linked to many overdose deaths in Lima and Allen County” and “numerous people have died because of this epidemic.”
The SWAT team raid on the West Michigan Avenue home on Thursday was the third of three such raids that morning in Lima, when search warrants were executed by SWAT team members. The other warrants were served without incident.
A warrant was served at 323 Ewing Ave., Lima, earlier that morning and resulted in the seizure of suspected marijuana, suspected cocaine, suspected heroin, a firearm and U.S. currency, Treglia said. A subsequent warrant executed at 300 Harrison Ave., Lima, yielded the seizure of suspected marijuana and U.S. currency. Occupants were found in both homes and were safely removed, said Treglia.
The third warrant of the day to be executed did not go nearly as smoothly, resulting in what the sheriff’s prepared press release called an “officer-involved shooting” at the West Michigan Avenue site.
Treglia said two SWAT team officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy, as a result of the shooting.
“I cannot release their names at this time,” the sheriff said, adding that the names of the officers will be released “when we get a little further on” in the investigation.
The sheriff characterized the officers placed on administrative leave as having “a couple years of experience” but otherwise refused to identify them.
“I have an obligation to protect the integrity of the review, the rights of the officers, the rights of the deceased and his family,” Treglia read from a prepared statement during Friday’s press conference. “It is my sincere desire to oversee a thorough review and ensure proper protocol and standards were followed by everyone involved. I appreciate the patience and support thus far and will immediately notify the media and public when greater details can be released.”