Deputy kills suspect in Sparta overnight - UPDATED 1:25 p.m.
(May 7, 2012 — UPDATED 1:25 p.m.) By RANDA WAGNER – A Morrow County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed a man who stole a cruiser in Knox County overnight.
According to a press release issued today at 12:40 p.m., William E. Myers, age 51, of Centerburg, died at Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon from gunshot wounds following an incident that occurred about midnight in Sparta.
Morrow County Deputy Clifford O’Connor responded to the southeast portion of Morrow County to assist the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in a search for a cruiser reportedly stolen from an officer in the Village of Centerburg in Knox County about 10 p.m. Officers from Knox, Delaware and Morrow counties searched for the suspect for about two hours before Myers ended up in a Sparta church parking lot after hitting a deer.
O’Connor, a deputy with the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office for eight months, spotted Myers outside the vehicle, holding a patrol rifle he had removed from the stolen cruiser.
“He ordered the man to put his weapon down, and the guy approached our officer,” Morrow County Sheriff Steve Brenneman stated early Monday. “[O’Connor] kept telling him to put it down, put it down… our officer retreated and got behind the cruiser. The guy just kept coming and the officer felt he had no choice but to fire upon him.”
At this time it is not known how many times Myers was hit.
Brenneman said the deputy immediately called for assistance and medical personnel. O’Connor then began administering first aid. Officers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, and Mt. Gilead Police Department responded to the scene along with medical personnel from Morrow County and Knox County.
The subject was transported to the Knox Community Hospital where he died from his wounds. An autopsy will be performed at the Licking County Morgue sometime today. O’Connor was not injured.
The circumstances surrounding the theft of cruiser are under investigation by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. The entire incident is under investigation by the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office along with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio BCI&I.