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Prosecutor Deters: More Prison Space Could Have Prevented Officer Shooting

Bill Rinehart
A video monitor shows the footage from Officer Kenneth Grubbs body camera after he was hit.

Hamilton County's prosecutor is suggesting the wounding of a Cincinnati police officer could have been prevented had his attacker been in prison for earlier crimes.Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says the man charged with shooting Officer Kenneth Grubbs March 12 has an arrest history that includes 26 misdemeanors and 14 felonies for drugs, assault, and weapons charges.

Deters says a grand jury indicted Damion McRae for attempted murder for the shooting of Officer Grubbs, along with two counts of felonious assault, two counts of having a weapon under disability, carrying a concealed weapon, and assault.

"There's a lot of people that should share blame in this that he's even out on the street," Deters says. "And it starts, frankly, with some state laws that were passed that on these low level felonies the judge is urged not to send them to the penitentiary."

Deters says there isn't enough support in Ohio to build more prisons.

"If you want to cut to the chase on this, the problem is money," Deters says. "I've tried twice to pass a local tax to build a new jail here, and the voters just don't have the stomach for it."

On March 12, Officers Kenneth Grubbs and William Keuper responded to a domestic violence report at 2651 Gilbert Avenue in Walnut Hills. They were met outside by a man police have identified as Damion McRae.

McRae allegedly carried two guns and fired with one. The bullet hit Grubbs in the abdomen below his armored vest. Grubbs and Keuper returned fire, hitting McRae several times.

Investigator say McRae's gun, a 9 mm carbine rifle, jammed after his first shot. They say it had several more rounds in the clip and he was carrying a .22 caliber handgun with six rounds.

The entire confrontation was caught on the officers' body cameras.

Deters says the officers acted appropriately and will not be charged. 

Officer Grubbs is recovering from his injury. McRae was also released from the hospital and is at the Justice Center.