Sheriff Jeffrey D. Paden said that on Friday June 24th shortly before 9:30 p.m. his deputies were requested to assist in a vehicle pursuit on US 22 near St. Rt. 800 in Northeastern Guernsey County. Sheriff Paden said his Communications Center was notified that Officers from the Barnesville Police Department were in pursuit of a vehicle that was operated by a female wanted on an active arrest warrant for Assault on a Police Officer from a prior incident involving Barnesville Officers. The driver, a 47 year old woman from Barnesville, failed to stop after officers identified her driving in Barnesville. The vehicle pursuit was initiated at that time and continued into Guernsey County on US 22, when deputies and Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol became involved at the request of Barnesville Officers.
Deputies attempted to spike the tires on the suspects’ vehicle on US 22 near Rainbow Rd., but the driver was able to avoid the spike strips and continued westbound on US 22 near the Salt Fork State Park region. As the pursuit approached Lake Ridge Rd. Troopers were able to successfully spike the tires on the vehicle. The driver then turned onto Beeham Run Rd., then onto National Rd. then finally onto St. Rt. 285 (Wintergreen Rd.) where the vehicle become disabled due to the tires being totally disintegrated. At that time Deputies, Troopers and Barnesville Police Officers began shouting verbal commands to the female driver to exit the vehicle. She reportedly became very agitated, failed to obey the commands and began shouting at the officers.
A Cambridge Police Officer and his K-9 were requested at the scene. After several minutes of failed negotiations, the Cambridge Officer approached the vehicle in preparation of deploying his K9 to extract the female from the vehicle. As the officer and his K9 partner approached the vehicle, the officer notified other officers that the female had a gun and pointed it at him. He and the K9 quickly retreated and took cover. Sheriff Paden then arrived at the scene as was briefed on the situation and informed of the female having a firearm. He then requested that Old Washington Volunteer Fire Department be notified to have their squad with medics stage in the area. Sheriff Paden then began attempting to communicate with the female and encourage her to exit the vehicle. She reportedly continued to be belligerent and uncooperative.
Sheriff Paden then activated the Guernsey County SRT (special response team) and requested that they respond to the scene. Once the team arrived, Sheriff Paden continued to encourage the female to exit the vehicle, but her behavior continued. During this time officers could see the female pointing a firearm at the driver’s side window of her vehicle.
The decision was then made after tactical plans were devised for the SRT to approach the vehicle in an attempt to remove her from the car. SRT members approached with less lethal and lethal munitions as well as distraction devices. As the SRT made contact with the female, a Taser was deployed and reportedly was ineffective after several attempts. The female still armed with the handgun, reportedly exchanged gunfire with the officers and she was wounded. An SRT member believed to have been shot, was pulled from the scene and tended to by other officers as SRT medics began life saving measures on the female.
Sheriff Paden reported that the deputy was not injured. The female was transported by Old Washington Medics to Southeastern Ohio Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division were then requested at the scene.
Lieutenant Sam Williams, of the Investigations Division said the BCI Crime Scene Unit and Investigators from the Officer Involved Shooting Unit of the Attorney General’s Office was notified and requested to respond to the scene. Lt. Williams said this is the protocol of the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office when any of their deputies are involved in a shooting to allow for an impartial investigation.
The investigation continues and Sheriff Paden said he will not be releasing the identity of the female or the deputies involved at this time.