Ohio Officers Shoot Burglar and then Tase Him on Live News
Early Friday morning, officers in Oregon, Ohio responded to a pharmacy burglary. When officers arrived, the suspect, 40-year-old Lewis Buchwalter, pointed what appeared to be a gun at an officer and the officer shot Buchwalter in the face with a shotgun; the buckshot struck Buchwalter but didn’t appear to affect him. It was later determined that Buchwalter was pointing a plastic tray which he had been holding in a way that made it appear to be a gun. Buchwalter then barricaded himself inside of the building for a while before charging out at officers with a large stick, while yelling “Shoot me.” The scene unfolded on live TV with WTOL 11 a news crew taping. Officers tasered Buchwalter and took him into custody.
WTOL 11 Video of Buchwalter Charging Officers:
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Police Chief News Conference at WTOL 11
WTOL 11 reports:
When Buchwalter came out the first time, he pointed what appeared to be a gun at an officer, who then fired at the suspect.
The object pointed at the officer was later determined to be a plastic tray used to count pills, but dash-cam video captured by police shows that it did appear to be a weapon of some sort.
“It’s a very dangerous job,” said Chief Navarre. “It looks like he faced something that was being represented as a gun and made a split-second decision.”
Officer Schmidlin, 24, fired nine 32-caliber pellets at the suspect less than 10 minutes after arriving on scene. He’s been with the Oregon Police Department for two years.
Buchwalter was hit in the head and face at least twice but was not phased.
“Those pellets should have taken him down,” said Chief Navarre. “We’ll be looking into that.”
The suspect then went back inside the building, and for a short time, it led to a barricade situation. The department’s Special Response Team was then brought out to assist with the situation.
Officers pointed guns at the building but told the suspect that they wouldn’t hurt him if he came out.
When Buchwalter came out again, with what appeared to be a broomstick, he told officers to shoot him before returning to the building.
When he came out a third time, the suspect was carrying a long piece of metal, likely from a door frame, and walked towards the officers.
Once it was determined that he wasn’t carrying a weapon, an officer was able to take him down with a stun gun.
The entire ordeal was caught on camera by photojournalist Joe Cromer and broadcast live on WTOL 11 This Morning. Watch the video in the player above.
“Everyone did a great job, including officers and dispatchers. Officers showed great weapon discipline,” said Chief Navarre. “Everything went according to training and there was a good outcome.”
By 4:33 a.m., Buchwalter was arrested and transported to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for knee and head injuries.
It’s unclear what charges he will face.
Officer Schmidlin, who shot Buchwalter, was visibly shaken after the incident. He will be taking several days off to recover.
A third-party will review the reports to see if the officer broke any laws.
Officials say Buchwalter had just signed himself out of St. Charles Hospital before breaking into The Pharmacy Center. He had checked in Thursday, but it’s unclear why.
Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre is backing up his officer who was involved in this justified shooting. Good job by all involved.