Reward offered for info on unknown third suspect in Avondale fatal officer-involved shooting

CINCINNATI - Police are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of an unknown third suspect that was allegedly involved in a fatal officer-involved shooting during a drug bust last week.

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 from Winton Terrace to Avondale that contained Mathews, Dontez Oneal, 19, of Avondale, and an unidentified man.

Officer Orlando Smith attempted to stop the car near the intersection of Reading Road and Burton Avenue in Avondale around 5:30 p.m. 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.

Smith returned fire, hitting Oneal at least five times, including once in the head. Oneal died shortly afterward. One of Smith's bullets also hit Mathews in the arm; Mathews was seated behind Oneal in the vehicle and eventually apprehended.

Mayor Mark Mallory said the incident was tragic and mourned the loss of life, but added that it's also a lesson about what can happen when people don't listen to the police.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge William Mallory Jr., the mayor's brother, ruled Friday morning that Mathews be held on a $100,000 bond. Matthews is facing four counts of drug trafficking.

Mathews has retained Eric Deters as his attorney. Deters has said his client was unarmed and initially denied medical treatment by police.

Mathews wore a sling on his arm during his Friday morning court appearance.

Police say the third suspect -- a black man in his 20s -- fled the scene and remains at large. Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the unknown man.

If you have any information on the third suspect, contact Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040. Text tips to CRIMES (2-7-4-6-3-7) with "CINTip:" at the beginning of the message. You don't have to give your name.

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