BOWLING GREEN — An attorney who barricaded himself inside his apartment with a firearm was fatally shot by police Wednesday afternoon.
Robert B. Blackwell, 46, was pronounced dead at Wood County Hospital shortly after the 12:30 p.m. shooting.
The two officers went to Mr. Blackwell’s apartment at 1608 Clough St., on the city’s east side, at the request of a family member who asked authorities to check on his welfare, according to Lt. Ken Fortney.
Arriving at the apartment, they found the door locked and gained entry with a manager’s key. They then found the door barricaded on the other side with a sofa, which they pushed aside, Lieutenant Fortney said.
With the door open, the officers saw Mr. Blackwell across the room with a firearm and told him to put the weapon down. Gunfire ensued.
Details from this point on are murky. Lieutenant Fortney said he knew at least one of the officers fired, but could not say if Mr. Blackwell discharged his weapon. The lieutenant said he did not know if Mr. Blackwell’s weapon was a handgun or long gun, or just why Mr. Blackwell’s family was concerned about his well-being.
The officers, who were not identified, are 14- and 15-year veterans and are on paid administrative leave while an investigation into the shooting is under way. Bowling Green police are conducting a criminal and internal investigation, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is processing evidence at the scene.
Mr. Blackwell was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1989, according to the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Web site, and had an office at 130 South Main St. downtown, in the Huntington Bank Building. He was a graduate of the Ohio Northern University College of Law.
Scott Coon, a Bowling Green attorney, said he knew nothing about Mr. Blackwell’s personal life, but recalled him as “a very nice guy, very approachable, easy-going. It’s an extremely unfortunate situation.”
Mr. Blackwell’s father, whose name also is Robert, declined to speak to a reporter.
Ann Carpenter, who has lived at the Campus View Apartments for 12 years, said she did not know her neighbor Mr. Blackwell and was shaken by the shooting.
Mrs. Carpenter, a 92-year-old widow, said she had always felt safe in the quiet complex, which does not rent to college students. “I’ve never had one bit of trouble,” she said.
The last fatal police-involved shooting in Bowling Green was in 2006, when Officer Allen Baer killed an Indiana man inside Wood County Hospital who said he had a weapon and threatened to kill people in the emergency department. The man was found to have no weapon.
A shooting review board determined Officer Baer was justified in firing his weapon, and a special Wood County grand jury declined to indict the officer.
Contact Carl Ryan at