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TPD Chief defends officer actions in Nevada shooting

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:14 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 1:43 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo Police Chief George Kral is defending the actions of his officers after one shot a suspect in a domestic violence call in the 2000 block of Nevada Thursday night. Speaking to the media on Friday afternoon, Chief Kral outlined the circumstances surrounding the third officer-involved shooting in Toledo this year, lauding his officers for following procedure and displaying restraint during the encounter.

The 44-year-old suspect, Benjamin Stephen Deverna, was struck once in the lower part of his body after Officer Jimmy Bennett fired a single shot from his service weapon. He is still hospitalized but is expected to be okay. Bennett is a 29-year-old officer who has been with the Toledo Police Department for four years. His partner, Candace Andrei, has been with the department for just under two years and did not fire her weapon.

TPD Presser

GRAPHIC VIDEO | TPD hold press conference after an officer-involved shooting late Thursday.

Posted by 13abc on Friday, April 16, 2021

Bennett and Andrei responded to a 911 call for a domestic dispute that came in just before 9 PM Thursday. In footage from Bennett’s bodyworn camera, you can see the officers moving into a dark garage, where they found the suspect apparently aiming a gun at himself. As the officers enter the room, the suspect moves the gun to point toward the officers, at which point the officers are heard demanding he put down the weapon several times. When he did not comply, Officer Bennett fired his own weapon once, after which the officers subdue the suspect.

According to Chief Kral, officers did not immediately administer first aid as it was not readily apparent that he had been struck by the bullet. When further investigation revealed the injury, that is when they sought medical attention.

When officers recovered the weapon from the floor of the garage, they discovered that it had not been loaded, but Chief Kral says there was no way to know that at the time and that his officers reacted appropriately in the moment.

This is the third time a Toledo Police officer has fired their weapon during a call just this year, the first two happening within weeks of each other in January. In the first, officers exchanged gunfire with Demetric Kelly before they were able to arrest him. The second was the standoff that resulted in the death of Ofc. Brandon Stalker.

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