LIMA — An Allen County Sheriff’s Office deputy was shot in the face after making a traffic stop on Lima’s south side early Tuesday morning. The suspect in the case died after a shootout with law enforcement.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Office declined to identify the deputy or the suspect in the case Tuesday morning. The deputy was transported to Lima Memorial Health System before being transferred to a Columbus-area hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.
The patrol deputy attempted a traffic stop on Second Street around 2:30 a.m., according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. The vehicle fled the scene and led the deputy on a short pursuit.
After a few city blocks, the suspect stopped the vehicle and exited, trying to flee on foot. The deputy pursued the suspect on foot, leading to a struggle between the deputy and the suspect.
The sheriff’s office reported its preliminary investigation appears to show the suspect, who was armed with a firearm, and the deputy exchanged gunfire, with the deputy being shot in the face. The suspect was struck by gunfire and died.
Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to lead the investigation. The BCI Crime Scene and Special Investigations Units did respond to the scene Tuesday and are continuing the investigation.
According to Steve Irwin, Press Secretary for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the identity of an officer involved in a shooting incident is not released during the investigation since that officer is still considered a suspect in the investigation. While each investigation is unique, investigations into officer-involved shootings can often involve 400 manhours of work, Irwin said.
Once the investigation is completed and all the physical evidence is gathered, the case is then referred to the county prosecutor, who then makes the determination to either not press charges or take the case to a grand jury.
“We make no finding of appropriateness [of an officer-involved shooting],” Irwin said.
While the exact hospital in Columbus where the deputy was taken was not released, Irwin did confirm that the deputy’s injuries appeared to be serious but not life-threatening.
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the name of the deceased suspect was not released.