|Press conference: Officer involved in shooting|
|Wednesday, July 03, 2013 3:10 PM|
With video of press conference
From Staff Reports Paulding County Progress
PAULDING – Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers read the following statement at a press conference on Wednesday morning:
“Thank you for coming this morning. I think it is important this morning to let the citizens of Paulding County know all law enforcement officers and bystanders are safe as a result of this morning’s incident. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances arouse last evening that resulted in one man being shot by a deputy sheriff who is a member of the Allen County Ohio Tactical Team.
“At approximately 9:11 p.m. on July 2, 2013, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Road 95 south of Road 60 in Blue Creek Township Northwest of Haviland, for a suicidal subject armed with a gun. The gunman is 42-year-old James Fleenor of Paulding County.
“Upon deputies’ arrival, they were approached by Mr. Fleenor in the driveway of the home, and Mr. Fleenor presented a firearm. The circumstances changed when Fleenor barricaded himself in a room within the house with firearms. The Allen County Ohio Sheriff’s Office Tactical Team was called for mutual aid.
“After more than four hours of negotiations, Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish and I made the decision to enter the room to secure Mr. Fleenor. Mr. Fleenor presented a firearm and fired shots from a rifle at deputies. One member of the Tactical Entry Team returned fire, striking Mr. Fleenor twice.
“This incident is being investigated as a criminal offense where charges are being reviewed by the Paulding County prosecutor against Mr. Fleenor. The investigative portion of this incident is being worked by the Van Wert County Ohio Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau, and the crime scene is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Crime Scene Investigative Unit. This investigation continues.”
Sheriff Landers then had Sheriff Crish speak on his office’s involvement during this incident.
Crish said that the decision was made to gain entry and take control of the suspect. A deputy returned fire and Fleenor was struck in the upper torso. He was transported to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, where he is listed in “serious” condition.
Sheriff Crish said that anytime an officer is involved in a shooting, they are placed on administrative leave pending investigation. He identified the officer as Deputy Gary Hook, a member of the department since 2005 and a member of the tactical team since 2011.