The Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office is releasing more details into an overnight officer-involved shooting that left one man dead.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said that shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office received several 911 calls from a female reporting a domestic dispute at 2880 Pinkerton Road in South Zanesville. According to Lutz, the woman told police her live-in boyfriend was armed and threatening her and her children. As Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, Lutz said there were other calls made between the female victim and communication’s officers, where the victim told police that the male suspect had taken her kids as hostage, and was firing off rounds with a gun inside the home. Lutz said the victim and her children were able to escape the home safely.
"While our deputies were on scene, we were able to contain the boyfriend in the home, we did have deputies that had a lot of evidence of the boyfriend wanting to commit suicide, making threats," Lutz said. "At one point the suspect even yelled that he was going to come to the front porch to shoot it out with law enforcement."
Lutz said a Sheriff’s Office negotiator arrived on scene and began speaking with the male suspect, who then began firing off shots inside the house and threatened to commit "suicide by cop." The suspect then cut off communication with the negotiator, broke an upstairs window, and pointed a gun at deputies. Lutz said one deputy fired one round, striking the suspect in the chest. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
"In law enforcement you’re trained to use the amount of force necessary to control the situation," Lutz said. "That can go from talking to somebody to reduce the risk, to going to hands-on with handcuffs to restrain somebody, to where we carry tasers, as less lethal force than a firearm, then of course to a firearm."
Lutz said the officer involved is now on paid administrative leave. No names are being released at this time in the investigation, and no other injuries were reported in the incident. The South Zanesville Fire Department also assisted at the scene.