Police arrest third Avondale shooting suspect

CINCINNATI - Police arrested a third suspect in connection with a gun battle involving a police officer in Avondale the day before Thanksgiving.

Gerry Branner, 22, was arrested in Colerain Township around 4:15 p.m. Thursday. Police sought Banner to question him about the Nov. 21 incident in which Dontez Oneal was killed.

Officer Orlando Smith shot and killed Oneal Nov. 21 after Oneal allegedly fired a gun at the officer

The shooting occurred after undercover police officers said they bought heroin from Robert "Bobby" Mathews in Winton Terrace on Wednesday afternoon. Mathews, 23, lives in Avondale and is described by police as a prominent gang member involved in drug activity throughout the city.

The undercover officers followed a car that allegedly contained Mathews, Oneal and Branner from Winton Terrace to Avondale. That's when they requested a uniformed officer to stop the suspects, Whalen said.

Smith attempted to stop the car on Burton Avenue. The vehicle made a U-turn and attempted to leave, but Smith's cruiser blocked its exit. At that point, Oneal allegedly pointed a gun at Smith and fired, but missed the officer.

Branner was wanted on open warrants of assault, trafficking in drugs, carrying a concealed weapon, criminal damaging, unauthorized use of property and other charges.

A Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Branner for murder on Thursday following his arrest.

No other details have been released at this time.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates.

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