June 23—The Fairfield police officer who shot an armed suspect earlier this month was not charged by a Butler County grand jury.
Butler County District Attorney Michael Gmoser said the grand jury reviewed all relevant evidence and testimony surrounding the incident and did not return any indictments.
“The incident was captured by the subject officer’s body camera and video is being released to the public,” the prosecutor said. “It should be obvious to all that pointing a firearm at a police officer in the line of duty carries a high probability that lethal force will result in eliminating the threat.”
Officer Nick Davis, who has been on the job for less than a year, fired his service weapon at Rodolfo Molina-Hernandez, 36, of West Hicks Boulevard on the afternoon of June 5. Molino-Hernandez was found guilty last week in Fairfield Municipal Court of aggravated threat. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison, although he was given a two-month suspended sentence. He must pass a drug screening, will be on five years probation and his firearms are expected to be confiscated from the police department.
Gmoser said it was his office’s practice to require any shooting involving an officer to be considered by the grand jury, “regardless of apparent justification.”
The Fairfield Police Department had called the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate the incident where Davis injured Molina-Hernandez in the leg.
The Fairfield Police Department intends to release the body camera footage Friday afternoon.
What happened on June 5
The incident began when an unidentified man called 911 and said there was “a guy with a gun” but the dispatcher had trouble understanding the caller with a heavy accent. The dispatcher asked him to repeat himself but disconnected.
The dispatcher had asked an officer to check the 911 on-hook, and Davis answered at the 3300 block of Port Union Road. The call came in around 3:45 p.m. that day.
Upon arrival, Davis attempted to speak with Molina-Hernandez, who was standing in the road.
The rookie officer repeatedly ordered Molina-Hernandez to drop the gun. Davis reported on radio traffic provided by the Fairfield Police Department that “it appears he has a gun in his hand.”
Molina-Hernandez had taken a “firing position”, according to the police. Moments after hearing Davis say that Molina-Hernandez had a weapon, dispatchers called for backup. Davis could then be heard saying in a distressed tone “shots fired”. The dispatcher repeated the “shots fired” call.
After the shooting, a health check from the officer was requested and Davis could be heard saying he was fine and “apparently it was just a toy gun but he was pointing it at me”.
Police said the sighting that the gun was a “toy” took place after the shooting. At the time of the shooting, police said Davis believed the gun pointed at him was real. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the agency investigating the shooting involving an officer, confirmed it was a real weapon.
Other officers who arrived at the scene took lifesaving action and called paramedics. Molina-Hernandez was transported to an area hospital.
No officers were injured in the incident.