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Police Officer Injured Friday Was Shot By Fellow Officer

Michael E. Keating

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said Monday a police officer injured during a deadly use of force incident Friday was shot in the forearm and hand by another police officer.
Police Officer Ronald Schultz, who joined the department in 2003, is recovering at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and is expected to make a full recovery.

Schultz, Officer Thomas Wells and Detective Stephen Bender were attempting to serve a felony robbery warrant on James Clay, 20, who was killed in the confrontation with officers.

The police chief showed body camera videos of the officers entering Clay's apartment on Victory Parkway in East Walnut Hills.  

As the officers were trying to arrest him, Clay grabbed Schultz's Taser and then pulled what looked like a handgun from his waist. On seeing a weapon, officers Wells and Bender discharged 16 rounds from their service weapons, striking Clay and Schultz. Clay's weapon turned out to be a steel pellet gun.

"These things are very rapidly evolving," Isaac said. "These officers respond to their training, they went in covering each other. When someone draws a firearm, they very quickly drew their weapons and responded to the threat. Again, not what the officers wished for, but very much in line with their training."

Isaac said Clay was being sought for a robbery at the Boost Mobile store on Kemper Road, not far from his apartment. The chief showed surveillance video of that incident, in which Clay assaulted a store clerk for six to seven minutes before leaving the store.

The chief met with Clay's family Monday and showed them the videos of what happened. Isaac said family members told him he could share that Clay suffered mental health issues.

The police department's homicide unit is investigating and the internal investigations section will review the incident. In addition, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's office and the city's Citizen Complaint Authority will conduct independent investigations.

Officers Well and Bender have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is department policy following such incidents.

Isaac said the department will review the officers' tactics since Schultz's injury resulted from another officer's weapon.