A Nelsonville Police Officer was hit by a bullet during an officer-involved shooting while responding to a domestic violence call, members of City government tell The Athens Messenger.
A man, Michael Whitmer, 37, of Nelsonville, was pronounced dead following the incident, NPD Police Chief Scott Fitch told The Athens Messenger on Wednesday.
The NPD officer, KJ Tracy is in stable condition, and has been released from the hospital, according to Fitch.
A Hocking College Police officer, Cecil Morrison, also sustained minor injuries during the incident and is in stable condition. He was released from the hospital Tuesday, Fitch said.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening, officers, including Nelsonville Police Department and Hocking College Police responded to a domestic dispute at an apartment on Third Street in Nelsonville, Fitch told The Athens Messenger.
When the officers arrived, they were confronted by Whitmer, who was in the vehicle with his four year-old son, Fitch said. Tracy and Morrison gave repeated commands for Whitmer to turn off and exit the vehicle, when Whitmer slammed his vehicle into the NPD cruiser multiple times.
During the altercation, Whitmer almost struck Tracy and attempted to run over Morrison with the vehicle.
Fitch said Morrison was forced to discharge his firearm, and Whitmer was struck multiple times. Officers then moved to remove the child from the vehicle.
Fitch said it is not clear at this time how Tracy was struck, and is pending an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation review.
All parties were transported to the hospital for injuries, Fitch said. Tracy was released from the hospital, said Fitch, but has non-life threatening bullet fragments still in his shoulder that may be removed at a later date.
“The Nelsonville officer is in stable condition and we ask for the community’s thoughts and prayers,” Fitch said.
Fitch told The Messenger that Whitmer was pronounced dead and the Athens County Coroner is performing an autopsy.
Fitch told The Athens Messenger he has turned the shooting case over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for an independent analysis of the shooting.
He said he would like to thank Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, Athens and Hocking County Sheriff’s Offices, Nelsonville Fire, and Athens EMS for their response to the incident.