FINDLAY (AP) — A police officer shot and killed a man during an overnight traffic stop Tuesday after the man struggled with the officer as he tried to get back in the car, a police chief said.
A gun was found inside the car, said Findlay Police Chief Greg Horne.
The officer had ordered both the driver and a passenger out of the car during the traffic stop around 3 a.m. on a residential street, Horne said. Both got out, but the passenger, Jeremy Linhart, tried to get back in the car and was shot in the scuffle with the officer, the chief said.
Linhart, of Findlay, died about an hour later.
Horne would not say at a news conference where the gun was in the vehicle. He did add that the stop was for a regular traffic violation and that the driver of the car was not arrested.
The officer, whose name was not released, has been placed on leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation looks into the shooting.
The police chief said it’s the first shooting involving an officer since 1999 in the city 40 miles south of Toledo.
Linhart was wanted by authorities on a bench warrant issued last Friday, The Courier newspaper reported. The warrant said he had failed to comply with conditions of his bond on a cocaine possession charge.
He also pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking two years ago and was sentenced to eight months in prison.
His uncle, Mike Linhart, said his nephew had a 3-year-old daughter.
“He has his problems, but guns haven’t been one of them,” Linhart said.