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Kentucky State Police leading investigation of Monday's fatal shooting by Cincinnati Police

woman stands at a podium with Cincinnati Police logo, flanked by three men.
Tana Weingartner
Interim Cincinnati Police Chief Theresa Theetge addresses media Tuesday, April 12, 2022. She's flanked by Council Member Scotty Johnson, Mayor Aftab Pureval and Interim City Manager John Curp.

Kentucky State Police are leading the investigation into a fatal shooting Monday in Covington involving officers from the Cincinnati Police Department. Two Cincinnati officers fired shots leaving 20-year-old Ali Coulter dead.

Cincinnati Police and the Citizen Complaint Authority will conduct parallel investigations, according to officials who held a news conference Tuesday in accordance with the city's Collaborative Agreement requirements.

Interim Cincinnati Police Chief Theresa Theetge says members of the department's Fugitive Apprehension Squad were in Covington to speak with Coulter's mother. Coulter was a suspect in the murder of Christian Jones last week in East Price Hill. According to Theetge, the officers didn't know Coulter was at his mother's house when they arrived.

"According to the body camera footage, when the officers arrived at the home, Mr. Coulter immediately came outside armed with a handgun," Theetge said. "After several commands to drop the gun, Mr. Coulter continued forward and our officers were forced to revert to their training to stop the threat."

Theetge says two Cincinnati officers discharged their weapons. They're identified as Officer Charles Knapp and Officer Specialist Mark Longworth. They've been with the department since since 2004 and 1998, respectively, and both, Theetge says, have been involved in previous "critical incidents" involving shootings. Both are members of the Fugitive Apprehension Squad.

"It is not unusual for the Fugitive Apprehension Squad to go across state lines to conduct interviews," Theetge said. "As protocol, members of the Covington Police Department were with our officers. Our officers were equipped with body-worn cameras that were activated at the time of the incident."

Some of the Cincinnati Police officers were in plain clothes at the time of the shooting. When asked if she thought it possible Coulter didn't know they were police, Theetge answered she thinks it is unlikely.

"Several of the Covington officers there were uniformed officers. One of our officers there was a uniformed officer and our other officers that were in civilian attire had on their big black vest that says 'police' across it, so I don't believe that that's a possibility," she said.

The body camera footage hasn't been released. Interim Cincinnati City Manager John Curp says Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders has issued a subpoena for the body camera video and other information. Cincinnati is not releasing the video to the public at this time, but Curp says the city will do so "at the moment its release is authorized."

Curp says he's been told the KSP investigation could last up to two weeks.

Police on Monday also announced a second man, Youssouf Niangane, was arrested April 8 in connection to the same murder investigation. He was wanted on an open murder warrant in the Jones homicide, police say. Twenty-eight-year-old Christian Jones was shot and killed early in the morning of April 6.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval and Council Member Scotty Johnson, a former police officer, were also present at Tuesday's news conference.

"I would echo ... the loss of life in any capacity is tragic in our community in our region," Pureval said. "Of course, our hearts go out to the family. And what I can say despite the fact that this happened over in Kentucky, is we are working very hard to make sure that this process falls in line with the procedures as required by the Collaborative Agreement by CPD policies and by the law."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.