City Defends Officer-Involved Shooting, Dad Questions It
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac offers thoughts and prayers to the Frost family but defends the off-duty police officer who shot and killed 20-year old Terry Frost.
According to police, Frost walked into the Fifth Third Bank at 5717 Madison in Madisonville Wednesday afternoon and vaulted the teller counter demanding money. A plastic grocery bag covered his right hand, indicating he had a weapon.
It was at that point, according to Isaac, 19-year police veteran Officer Kevin Hankerson drew his gun, pushed the teller out of the way and fired two rounds at Frost, hitting him. Frost leaped over the counter, dropped his bag which held a .38 Derringer pistol, and ran out the door and into a small wooded area. K-9s located Frost, who had died from his injuries.
Frost Dad Says His Son Made A Mistake But Didn't Have To Die
Terry Frost Sr., wasn't allowed to attend Thursday's police news conference but spoke to reporters outside District One Headquarters. "You know everybody loved my son. You'll see, He's going to be missed." Frost Sr. carried a picture of Frost Jr. "My son made a bad choice, but didn't deserve to die." He was quick to criticize police. "They killed my son for no reason.....I just want the truth."
Frost leaves behind a 2-year old son.
Mayor Says Let This Be A Lesson
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley attended the news conference and defended Hankerson's actions. "We regret the loss of life. We regret the decisions made that convinced a young man who should have been doing other things, to pick up a gun and a mask and jump into a bank. But we think in the long-term we will save more lives if we support officers who have to chase the bad guys in these situations, because it will deter others from making these bad decisions."
Police say ballistic tests indicate Frost pulled the trigger but the gun misfired.
This is the third Cincinnati Police officer-involved shooting this year
- January 11, 2016: Police shot armed robbery suspect Robert Tenbrink in West Price Hill when he refused to drop his weapon. It was later determined to be a BB gun.
- February 17, 2016: In Cheviot, Paul Gaston ignored commands to lie on the ground and instead appeared to reach for a firearm. The gun was an Airsoft pistol.
Both shootings were ruled as justified.
Councilman Christopher Smitherman attended the police news conference and chairs the Law and Public Safety Committee. He says more businesses should use off-duty officers to keep their patrons safe, like Fifth Third Bank. "Having officers at these private businesses is a good thing. It's more visibility where we have officers in uniform for our citizens to see."