WAYNE COUNTY, OH – The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office says they believe a deputy who shot an armed suicidal man during a standoff Sunday did the right thing to protect the community.
This all happened around 10:45 Sunday morning in Apple Creek. The Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for assistance from the Apple Creek Police Department. When they arrived they found a 60-year-old-man was behind a downtown business threatening to harm himself with the weapon.
The sheriff’s office said deputies, police officers and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers all tried to calm the situation for more than 30 minutes but the man continued to hold the firearm to his head. They say the man approached one of the deputies who told him to drop his weapon multiple times. The man reportedly went toward the deputy, less than 40 feet away, while telling him to shoot him.
In a press conference Monday, deputies said the situation had moved toward a church in the area and that law enforcement was concerned there was a danger to the community.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy then fired one round from his gun, striking the man.
The deputy shot the man in the arm that was holding the gun, according to a press conference with the Wayne County Sheriff. The bullet then traveled through his arm and hit him in the chest.
Paramedics rushed him to Wooster Community Hospital where he died.
The 60-year-old man has been identified as Rodney Geiser.
The sheriff’s office says he has a history with them, but that deputies did not know that at the time.
In a press conference Monday, the sheriff’s office reported that all three deputies involved in the situation have had specialized training in dealing with people with mental illness.
The deputy who fired the shot is on paid administrative leave. He will interview with the Ohio Bureau of Investigation, the agency in charge of investigating the shooting.
Body cameras that Apple Creek officers and Wayne county deputies were wearing will likely be released Monday.