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NEWCOMERSTOWN, Ohio — The Newcomerstown police officer who claimed he was shot by two armed suspects last week, prompting a search for the shooters, fabricated the story, the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Tuesday.

Last Monday, 37-year-old Bryan Eubanks told authorities that he had been pursuing two suspects in a black Geo Tracker on Johnson Hill Road in Newcomerstown, when they began shooting at his patrol car, striking him in the arm.

Police put out an alert for a suspects, at one point even releasing a photo of one of the men, only to clear that person’s name a short time later. After further investigation, and speaking with witnesses, the sheriff’s office found Eubank’ statements to be contradictory.

Investigators used an Automatic Licence Plate reader on the back of Eubanks’ cruiser to track down witnesses that had passed by his car at the time he said he was pursuing the suspects.

According to the news release, none of the witnesses reported seeing the Geo Tracker on Johnson Hill Road at the time Eubanks said he was pursuing the vehicle. That’s when, sheriff’s investigators say, they called Eubanks in for more questioning, and he admitted to making up the story.

During questioning, Eubanks said he lied about the story after a failed suicide attempt. Officials say while they believe Eubanks caused his own injury, there are many questions that still need to be answered about the incident.

Eubanks has been released to family so that he can receive medical care for his “state of mind,” the news release stated.

The case has been forwarded to the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office. Charges are pending.

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