A South Toledo man was in serious condition and a city police officer was placed on administrative leave yesterday after a shooting incident Tuesday at the end of a nearly 20-minute pursuit for a traffic offense.
Turone Murray, 52, of 301 Kingswood Trail was being treated last night at University Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. He was shot once in the abdomen by Officer Arrow Osborne's department-issued gun after a pursuit that ended at 10:19 p.m. in a field near Reynolds Road and Hill Avenue.
Officer Osborne, 46, who was hired by the Toledo Police Department in 1993, was placed on administrative leave in accordance with department policy while police investigate the shooting. The department's firearms review board will determine whether the shooting was justified, not justified, or accidental and forward the matter to internal affairs if necessary.
An arrest warrant filed in Toledo Municipal Court charged Mr. Murray with failure to comply, a felony, for not bringing his vehicle to a stop for police. Mr. Murray, whose previous criminal history appeared to involve only traffic violations, declined a request for an interview.
Officer Osborne also did not want to be interviewed, said Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, which represents the officer. He said Officer Osborne has been offered counseling as well as a minimum three-day leave. "He's taking that time," Mr. Wagner said.
It was the second police chase that ended in gunfire in as many nights.
On Monday night, Bowling Green police Officer Allan Baer shot and killed an Indiana man at Wood County Hospital after he stole a pickup from a local convenience store, led police on a pursuit, ran into the hospital, and threatened to kill a hospital visitor. Daniel J. Rice, 30, who was unarmed, was fatally shot once in the chest after he indicated he had a weapon and reached into his waistband. An earlier attempt to subdue him with a Taser stun gun failed.
The Toledo pursuit began shortly after Officer Ronald Wilcox, who was finishing a report in his parked cruiser on Dunderry Lane, saw Mr. Murray stop in the middle of Hill Avenue, Mr. Wagner said.
Mr. Murray signaled Officer Wilcox to go ahead and pull out, but the officer waved him forward. As Mr. Murray's car passed, the officer noticed Mr. Murray didn't have license plates on his car, Mr. Wagner said.
Officer Wilcox tried to make a traffic stop at 10:02 p.m. at Hill and Richards Road. Mr. Murray's arrest warrant indicates he fled after receiving an audible and visual signal for him to stop.
A pursuit began that traveled through southwest Toledo. Officers tried to deploy stop sticks to flatten the car's tires. Mr. Murray was traveling at high speed and committed several traffic violations, his warrant states.
Police said Mr. Murray lost control of the car and drove into a field near Reynolds and Hill at 10:19 p.m.
A preliminary investigation indicates Mr. Murray then became involved in a fight with Officer Osborne, who was among the officers involved in the pursuit and who was trying to get the suspect out of the vehicle. During the struggle, the officer's gun discharged and Mr. Murray was struck by a bullet that passed through his abdomen and exited his body, police said.
Mr. Wagner said the shooting occurred when Officer Osborne held his gun in one hand and reached into the car with the other to get Mr. Murray out of the vehicle. Mr. Murray allegedly reached for the officer's gun, and the officer fired to keep Mr. Murray from taking his gun, Mr. Wagner said.
Mr. Wagner said Officer Osborne backed up and rendered his gun safe. Three other officers got Mr. Murray out of the car, placed him under arrest, and called for a Life Squad.
Mr. Wagner said Toledo police policy allows officers to use deadly force if a suspect is trying to disarm them.
"Given the facts I'm aware of, [Officer Osborne is] totally justified in what he did," he said. "If the suspect got out of the vehicle, I don't think we'd be sitting here talking about this today. It would have been a non-event."
Police do not know why Mr. Murray did not stop. Municipal Court records indicate he was sentenced in 1999 for failure to control and in 2004 for speeding.
This is not the first time police have investigated Officer Osborne for his actions involving a firearm.
In July, 1995, he was reprimanded for pulling his firearm on a robbery suspect and leaving a prisoner alone in his car as he tried to make another arrest.
About a year later, Officer Osborne was responding to a report of a fight at a Douglas Road car wash. When he got out of his car, he pulled his gun, pointed it at several people, and ordered them to the ground even though dispatchers had made no mention of anyone else at the scene being armed, according to an internal inquiry. He received a two-day suspension for a departmental charge of improperly using his firearm, but the Toledo civil service commission later overturned the suspension.
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