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Published: Tuesday, 6/26/2012

Investigations into shooting by off-duty officer being completed

BLADE STAFF

A Walbridge police officer who fatally shot a man in West Toledo while off duty could be back at work and on patrol by the end of the week, officials said.

Walbridge Chief Kenneth Frost said the department’s investigation is being completed and Officer Matthew Morland “was not in violation as far as I’ve seen it. The investigation I’ve done and the Toledo police in their investigation. There’s no possible violations.”

The officer has been on mandatory departmental leave since the Saturday shooting, but is still able to do desk work, Chief Frost said.

Officer Morland was walking with a friend to the friend’s home about 2:30 a.m. Saturday when they were confronted by Travis K. Johnson, 21, who was armed with a gun and wanted to rob the pair, police said.

Officer Morland shot Johnson six times in the chest, right arm, buttocks, and back, the coroner’s office has said.

When asked about the wounds, Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said that it’s likely Johnson turned his body when the officer opened fire.

RELATED CONTENT: Blade 2012 Homicide Report

Sergeant Heffernan said the department has closed its investigation and the findings would be sent to the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office.

John Weglian, chief of the special units division in the prosecutor’s office, said this morning that the office had not yet received the case, but that, when it does, it would be screened to determine if it will reach a grand jury.

Chief Frost said Walbridge officers are not required to carry their badge and gun while off duty, but “it is their privilege, it is their option. However, I encourage it.”

Officer Morland was carrying a personal firearm at the time of the shooting, Chief Frost said.

“I back Officer Morland 100 percent,” the chief said. “He has my full support and I am confident that he absolutely did the right thing.”



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