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Police & Fire

Findlay officer on leave after fatal shooting

30-year-old Findlay man shot during scuffle with officer

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    Findlay Chief Greg Horne speaks at a news conference today at the Findlay City Council chambers after an officer-involved shooting as Captain S. Young, left, and Findlay mayor Lydia Mihalik look on.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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    A woman who only identified her self as the mother of victim Jeremy Linhart's child reacts to the news conference.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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    Linhart

FINDLAY — A Findlay police officer shot and killed a man during a traffic stop in the city early today, authorities said.

Jeremy Linhart, 30, of Findlay, the shooting victim, was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. at Blanchard Valley Hospital. His body was transferred to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy, said Findlay Police Chief Greg Horne at a news conference today at City Council chambers.

The male officer involved has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.

Chief Horne said Linhart was the only passenger in a car that was stopped by police at about 3:05 a.m. in the 800 block of West Sandusky Street, for a “regular traffic violation.”

During the traffic stop, the driver and  the passenger were “removed from” the vehicle, the chief said. The passenger then allegedly tried to get back into the vehicle, at which time the officer interfered and the victim was shot during a struggle, the chief said. Findlay police do not use dashboard or body cameras, he said. 

He would not say how many shots were fired, but Jill Del Greco, public information officer for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, said a preliminary investigation indicated that the officer had fired a single shot.

Chief Horne said the victim was known to Findlay police. A handgun was later recovered from the vehicle.

Chief Horne would not disclose further details, referring all inquiries to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which has taken over the investigation. He refused to release the officer’s name and how long he worked for the department. He also declined to release any details about the driver or where they were going when the incident occurred.

He said this is the first shooting by a Findlay police officers since 1999.

At the end of the 15-minute news conference, a woman present burst into tears. She introduced herself later to a Blade reporter as mother of the victim’s child, but declined to comment further. 

Mike Linhart, of Findlay, the shooting victim’s uncle, who was also present at the event, said the victim leaves a 3-year-old daughter.

“We were curious if he was going for a gun [when he tried to return to the car],” Mr. Linhart said. “He has his problems but guns haven’t been one of them.”

The deceased was wanted on a bench warrant for a parole violation, according to Hancock County Common Pleas Court records.

The incident remains under investigation.

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