© 2022 Cincinnati Public Radio
Connecting You to a World of Ideas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Visitation, Funeral Set For Slain Cincinnati Police Officer

City of Cincinnati

Update: 6/22/2015: 

The public can pay its respects to slain Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim in a visitation Thursday at the Cintas Center on the Xavier University campus.

The visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The Queen City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge will hold a funeral service at 7 p.m. Thursday.

At 11 a.m. Friday, a funeral service will be held at the Cintas Center, followed by a procession to Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Montgomery.

The Tufts Schildmeyer Family Funeral Home in Loveland is handling the arrangements. 

The 48-year-old officer, a 27-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department, was shot and killed Friday morning after a confrontation with a suspect in Madisonville Friday morning. 

The suspect, 21-year-old Trepierre Hummons, was also shot and killed in the incident. 

Update 6/19/2015 at 7:15 p.m.:

Cincinnati Police said Friday evening the suspect who allegedly shot and killed Police Officer Sonny Kim earlier in the day called 911 twice himself to report a man acting erratically with a gun.

Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell called the situation an “ambush” and said evidence indicates the event was a “suicide by cop.”

Blackwell said 21-year-old Trepierre Hummons allegedly engaged Officer Kim, who arrived first on the scene at Roe and Whetsel, in a gunfight.  Kim was already wounded and on the ground when a Hamilton County Probation officer arrived.  The suspect immediately began firing at the probation officer.

After the probation officer arrived, Hummons began fighting with the wounded Kim and took his service firearm.  The suspect then reportedly began using the officer’s weapon in a gun battle with a police specialist, who arrived next on the scene.  That CPD officer was able to stop Hummons and secure the scene.

The Cincinnati Fire Department then took Officer Kim and Hummons to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where both were later pronounced dead.

Blackwell said Officer Kim was shot multiple times and was wearing a protective vest.

The entire situation unfolded as Hummons’ mother witnessed the events in the street.  She was trying to find him and told police he had not been “acting like himself” after having problems with a girlfriend.

Police said Hummons had minimal criminal activity on his record as an adult, but did have several felonies as a juvenile.

Multiple investigations into Friday’s incident will continue for several weeks.

Transcript as police chief described the events during a Friday evening press conference:

The initial 911 caller was in fact our suspect himself, calling twice. According to the suspect’s mother, he had been having troubles recently with a girlfriend and was not behaving like himself. The mother left the house this morning looking for the son and found him in the street just as officers arrived. Officer Kim was the first to make contact with the suspect, who engaged our officer in a gunfight. A Hamilton County Probation officer was next to arrive at 9:22. The suspect began firing at him as well. The suspect then returned to Police Officer Kim, who was laying wounded in the street, and began to fight with him in an effort to take the officer’s firearm. Despite Police Officer Kim’s valiant struggle, the suspect was able to gain control of his service weapon. Police Specialist Sandmann arrived on the scene at 9:24. The suspect diverted his attention away from the probation officer and immediately engaged in a firefight with police officer Kim’s firearm at Police Specialist Sandman. Police Specialist Sandmann was able to stop the threat, secure the suspect and maintain the scene, which included the suspect’s mother at the scene until other officers arrived to immediately begin first aid on Police Officer Kim. Fire units were quick to arrive and arrived at 9:28. The suspect’s previous history includes a sex offense report filed just this morning, in the wee hours of this morning (Friday morning). And as an adult, he has a minimal criminal history with criminal trespassing and several traffic violations. The suspect’s juvenile history does include felonies for aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and CCW (carrying a concealed weapon). Of note too, the suspect posted on Facebook, just prior to the shooting, and sent several text messages to friends indicating or demonstrating that he was planning “suicide by cop.”

Original post earlier Friday:

The city of Cincinnati went into mourning Friday after Officer Sonny Kim, a 27-year veteran of the department, was killed in an exchange of gunfire in Madisonville. 

The police officer and a suspect were taken to University Medical Center after both were shot. Both died there. 

During a briefing, Chief Jeffery Blackwell said around 9 o'clock officers and probation officers were responding to a report of a person with a gun acting erratically, near Whetsel and Roe.  Blackwell said when officers arrived there was an exchange of gunfire.  

At a noon press conference at police headquarters, Blackwell said District 2 officers were dispatched at 9:03 a.m. to a report of a man with a gun. At 9:10 a.m., there was a second call, Blackwell said. At 9:19 a.m., Officer Kim arrived at the scene; and seven minutes later, back-up officers on the scene "frantically aired" a call saying an officer was down. 

Blackwell said the suspect has also died, but refused to name him. 

Blackwell says the officer was wearing a protective vest.

Kim leaves behind a wife and three sons, Blackwell said. He said the officer moved to Cincinnati from Chicago in 1986 and became a Cincinnati police officer two years later. Blackwell said Kim was an excellent officer who had 22 meritorious citations in his file. 

"CPD lost one of our best today,'' Blackwell said. "We lost a brother. But, right now, my heart is broken for his three boys who lost their father and for his wife, who lost her husband." 

Blackwell said officers on the scene "tried valiantly" to save him before he was transported to University Hospital Medical Center, where he died. 

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black, at the press conference at police headquarters, said "this is a stark reminder that not all jobs are created equal." 

"They are prepared to do what many of us would not be prepared to do,'' Black said. "To willingly sacrifice their lives." 

Vice Mayor David Mann attended the press conference, representing not only himself but Mayor John Cranley was traveling to San Francisco for a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors when the shooting began. 

"Let us all embrace the Kim family with our prayers and heartfelt support; and let us do the same for all uniformed officers,'' Mann said. 

Cranley's office put out a statement saying that once the mayor heard the news, he immediately made plans to return to Cincinnati. 

In a written statement, Cranley said "today is a tragic day for all Cincinnatians. One of our first responders was shot and killed in the line of duty. We will always remember the sacrifice made by Officer Sonny Kim; and we will pray for his wife and family that they may find some comfort during their grief." 

The Fraternal Order of Police has set up a fund through the police credit union: The Sonny Kim Family Fund. More information here.

Visitation and funeral arrangements are pending. They will be announced on the FOP website and Facebook page.

According to FOP president Kathy Harrell, "It's going to be a very tough week for the Cincinnati Police Officers but I want to make sure that the citizens of Cincinnati know that we have the best police department in the country... They are very dedicated and will be working every single day protecting the citizens of Cincinnati."

Harrell held a news conference outside FOP headquarters where she called Kim "a true hero."