GRAPHIC CONTENT: Toledo Police release bodycam, 911 call in fatal police shooting

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 2:24 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - City officials and Toledo Police released body camera footage, the 911 call, and radio traffic of Wednesday’s fatal police shooting on Hill Avenue Friday afternoon in a press conference. The press conference is available in full in the videos below and viewer discretion is advised.

Toledo Police officers shot and killed a man after he pointed a gun at officers Wednesday morning. TPD said seven officers fatally shot 47-year-old Jason Means. An autopsy from the Lucas County Coroner’s Officer said Means suffered 22 gunshot wounds.

Means’ girlfriend, Nicole Rahmel, was home at the time of the incident and made the 911 call that sent officers to the Hill Avenue home. She tells 13abc Means was in a bout of psychosis and told dispatchers he was having a mental health crisis. Rahmel said Means thought there were home invaders trying to harm the family. When Means began firing shots, she grabbed her son and barricaded them behind a door.

“He thought there was home invaders in there to harm us. So he was going through the house trying to find these people,” Rahmel said. “He started to shoot at the door because he couldn’t get through it. I called 911, and we immediately went out the window and sat on the roof,” Rahmel said.

A statement from Toledo Police on Wednesday said dispatchers received a call from a woman that her husband was shooting a gun and that she may have “possibly” been shot around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. While talking with the woman, the call taker could hear shooting and screaming in the background. Rahmel said she told dispatchers no one had been hit.

“I said all he’s trying to do is protect his family and he just doesn’t understand what’s going on,” Rahmel said.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found Means outside of the home still armed with a shotgun. Toledo Police say Means fired a single shot. Tronedle said it’s unclear whether he was trying to shoot at police or just firing a shot but either way that changes the dynamic of a response. Means was walking through backyards of the neighborhood.

TPD said officers tried to de-escalate the situation and still worked to come to a peaceful conclusion after Means fired a shot. Body camera footage shows officers telling Means they are there to help him and asking him to drop the gun dozens of times. Once he raised a gun, seven officers opened fire.

Interim Police Chief Mike Troendle said officers had no other choice but to shoot because Means posed a threat to the safety of officers and the public, as he was along a main road.

“At some point, we have done everything we can do to try to help him in the situation,” Troendle said. “Officers did everything they could and unfortunately it still ended tragic. No officer wants to have to shoot anybody, no officer wants to have to use their gun.”

Troendle acknowledged that some have criticized the number of rounds police fired at Means and said officers are trained to shoot until the threat is neutralized.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said Friday that he’s never seen a better example of de-escalation techniques put to use than what is shown by TPD in the video.

“Anyone who would criticize the officers for failing to de-escalate simply does not know the facts,” Kapszukiewicz said. “Even when we have an officer performing his job at the highest levels there can still be a case where there’s an outcome we don’t want to see.”

The seven officers who shot Means are on paid administrative leave per collective bargaining agreements.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.

TPD releases the bodycam footage of the fatal police shooting on Jan. 25.

Previous coverage:

The Lucas County Coroner’s Office identified the man as 47-year-old Jason Means.