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Cincinnati Police Say Officer-Involved Shooting Was Accidental

Bill Rinehart

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's office is reviewing what police say was an accidental shooting of a man Tuesday. Police Chief Eliot Isaac says District 5 officers saw 37-year-old Andre Thomas selling drugs in Mt. Airy. When they tried to take him in custody, there was a struggle.

Officers had trailed Thomas to a gas station on Compton Road in Colerain Township. There they contacted Colerain Police for what Isaac calls "uniformed support and assistance in stopping the vehicle."

"One of the Violent Crimes (Squad) plain clothes officers, Officer John Brown, attempted to grab Mr. Thomas. As they were falling to the ground, Officer Brown discharged a single round from his firearm that struck Mr. Thomas in the back."

According to Isaac, Brown says he was trying to re-holster his weapon when it fired.

"Definitely not an appropriate use of force," Isaac says. "We will be examining that and, again, we are in consultation with the prosecutor's office and also our own administrative processes."

Brown is on administrative leave.

"There was no weapon introduced on the part of Mr. Thomas, so that is something definitely we will take a deep look at," Isaac says.

Isaac says the CPD officers did not have body cameras. A Colerain officer's camera caught the aftermath but not the actual event.

Thomas is in stable condition at University Hospital.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.