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Published: Monday, 4/11/2011

Man shot, wounded by police in Oregon

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An intoxicated Oregon man who fired at least four shots from a handgun at a police officer's vehicle was shot and wounded at an apartment complex Sunday by an officer who returned fire.

It was the first time in at least three decades an Oregon police officer was involved in a shooting, Acting Police Chief Paul Magdich.

"It's not a normal experience out here, but unfortunately it seems to be a trend nationally and Ohio doesn't seem to be exempt," Chief Magdich said. "As we have seen from other areas nearby, the suburbs don't seem to be immune."

The suspect was identified as Jeff Belew, 23, who lives in the complex. The chief declined to release the name of the officer.

Police were called to Piccadilly East Apartments, 2750 Pickle Rd., just after 5 a.m. on a report that two men -- who turned out to be brothers -- were fighting. When the first police officer arrived, he spotted a man walking in the parking lot.

"It came in as some type of domestic situation and officers were on scene within two minutes," the chief said. "The first responding officer, when he pulled in, saw an individual and that person raised his weapons and shot four to five times, striking the vehicle twice." The officer backed the vehicle away, got out, and took cover behind the open door. Moments later, another officer arrived at the scene.

"He was not complying to verbal orders to drop his weapon," the chief said.

When the suspect raised his gun toward the officers again, the second officer fired three shots at him, hitting him once in the upper right torso area.

While he was on the ground, Mr. Belew still held on to his weapon until his brother came up from behind and took it away, police said. The brother then threw the 9 mm semiautomatic away from both of them.

The suspect was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where no information was available on his condition. The chief said the suspect would be charged with two counts of felonious assault on a police officer.

The officer who shot the suspect was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171



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