Man accused of shooting police officer in Walnut Hills gets $500K bond

Posted at 10:06 AM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 18:07:42-04

CINCINNATI -- A judge set bond at $500,000 Friday for a man accused of shooting a police officer in Walnut Hills last weekend.

Police said Damion McRae, 37, shot Officer Kenneth Grubbs in the abdomen outside a Gilbert Avenue apartment complex between Taft Road and Lincoln Avenue in Walnut Hills Sunday.

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McRae faces attempted murder and gun charges. He appeared in a Hamilton County courtroom Friday wearing a neck brace and showing no emotion. Officers said he fired his weapon when police were just five to 10 feet away.

Police Union President Sgt. Dan Hils said McRae should have been in prison at the time of the shooting. Judge Patrick Foley sentenced McRae to community control - also referred to as probation - for McRae's sixth, seventh and eighth felony convictions, which included trafficking in heroin and fentanyl.

"He likes to deal dope," Hils claimed. "He likes to deal death to whoever is hooked on it, so he has no regard for life."

An I-Team investigation found that four of 10 convicted heroin dealers in Hamilton County were sentenced to probation during the last year. McRae is one of six dealers who received probation after being convicted of at least four felonies. Each case was handled by a different judge. 

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The judge's setting bond at half a million dollars pleased McRae's defense attorney, Massimino Ionna.

"Frankly, it doesn't matter what the bond is. He has a holder, so he couldn't be released even if he could post bond," Ionna said.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley called the shooting an attempted "assassination" and "ambush." Emergency crews took Grubbs and McRae to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for surgery. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries. Still, Hils said Grubbs has a long recovery ahead of him. 

Grubbs went home from the hospital Tuesday. 

Grubbs has been involved in on-duty shootings in the past, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said. He joined the Cincinnati Police Department in 1998.

"I don't know the specifics, but I know he has been involved in officer-involved shootings," Isaac said. "But he works in District Four, and they have a lot of violence."