ST. MARYS — A St. Marys man shot by law enforcement agents Wednesday night on Derrick Street reportedly raised what later was determined to be a pellet rifle or BB gun at the officers as they responded to his residence.
During a joint news conference Monday morning, St. Marys Interim Police Chief Tim Eberle and Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon revealed Brad Lee Scheer, 62, 601 Derrick St., was shot by officers who responded to Scheer's residence following a 911 call at 10:04 p.m. Wednesday. During the 911 call, Scheer allegedly made mention of throwing trash in the street and indicated he would shoot whoever responded to his residence. Scheer allegedly repeated the threat twice before hanging up.
St. Marys police officers and deputies from the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office arrived on the scene shortly after the call. As officers and deputies approached the house, Scheer allegedly exited the residence with a weapon. Eberle said Patrolman Luke Turpin and Deputy Tyler Price opened fire when Scheer allegedly raised the weapon at officers. Turpin is a five-year veteran with the St. Marys Police Department and Price has two years of service as a deputy.
Eberle did not reveal the exact number of shots fired, but said he believed it "was an appropriate number."
"I'd say five or less (shots)," Eberle said.
When officers arrived on the scene, they believed Scheer was carrying a long-gun — either a rifle or a shotgun. Once officials secured the weapon, Eberle said investigators determined it was BB gun or pellet rifle.
"(It) looked just like a rifle to me after I saw it," Eberle said. "I believe our officers did exactly as they are trained to do and we stand behind them 100 percent."
Eberle said investigators believe alcohol may have played a factor in the incident. Following the shooting, Turpin and Price were placed on administrative leave — a standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.
Solomon said investigators believe Scheer did not fire a round from his weapon.
"When he (Scheer) raised it up toward the officers, they shot him in self defense," Eberle said. "They believed their life was in danger."
After the shooting, officers did a safety sweep of the residence. Eberle said no one was found inside the residence during the search.
Scheer was hospitalized after the shooting and released shortly after noon on Sunday. He was then transported to the Auglaize County Jail and held on a charge of aggravated menacing. Eberle said additional charges could be filed pending the completion of the investigation, which is being handled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Once the investigation is completed, it will be forwarded to Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce.
Eberle said Scheer had a history with the department before Wednesday night's shooting. That history dates back to 1985 and includes charges ranging from criminal damaging to disorderly conduct. In 1993, Scheer was found guilty of using a weapon while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Scheer appeared via video for an arraignment hearing Monday afternoon in Auglaize County Municipal Court. According to online court records, Scheer, who is being represented by Steve Billings, indicated his intentions to enter a written plea of innocent by reason of insanity. Municipal Court Judge Gary Herman set Scheer's bond at $50,000 with a 10 percent cash provision. Herman also ordered Scheer to refrain from consuming alcohol. Scheer also cannot possess any firearms or other weapons capable of firing a projectile or any explosive device or any toy that would have the appearance of one of the above. Herman also ordered a forensic evaluation as to determine Scheer's competency and mental status at the time of the alleged offense.
Officer-involved shootings are not common for the St. Marys Police Department. Eberle said the last officer-involved shooting that resulted in an injury occurred in 1939. Two years ago, an Auglaize County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man at the Marathon station on Main Street in St. Marys following a pursuit that started in the eastern side of the county. The driver was shot after he exited the vehicle with a firearm and refused to comply with officers' orders.