911 caller lured Hamilton police with false report of shooting

Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 17:22:44-04

HAMILTON -- In a six-minute 911 call, a man who appears to be the suspect later shot by a Hamilton police officer tells the dispatcher he saw a shooting outside his apartment building, the Journal-News reported Tuesday.

Hamilton Police officer Steven McFall shot and killed 24-year-old Michael Wilson-Salzl during a confrontation Saturday at Knollwood Crossing apartments on Forest Park Drive, according to police. Police said Wilson-Salzl engaged McFall in a "confrontation" while carrying a butcher knife.

Wilson-Salzl died of gunshot wounds, according to the Butler County Coroner's Office.

Police have said there were no signs of the initial shooting reported to them.

A man who identified himself as Thomas Billy called 911 at 2:58 p.m. and had trouble giving dispatchers his exact address — originally telling them he was in Fairfield — before saying, "Somebody is out with a gun. Somebody is waving a gun around."

After more questions, dispatchers determined the man was calling from Forest Park Drive in Hamilton.

Then the man tells the dispatcher, "I think he just shot somebody … I think he is going to do it again."

He describes the shooter as a black male wearing black pants and a yellow shirt. He says he is looking out the window, but later says he is outside by the trash.

"I ran outside, that's how scared I am," he responded when the dispatcher asked why he went outside.

At one point he also tells the dispatcher the man tried to shoot him and he describes seeing a person shot on the ground bleeding.

Then the caller is heard running.

"Where are you running to?" the dispatcher asks.

But he says he is still by the trash.

Seconds later McFall is heard saying, "put it down, put it down."

Then he tells dispatch shots fired.

The dispatcher continues to yell, "Thomas, Thomas," and the phone line goes dead.

McFall was not wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, but his cruiser did have a camera.

Investigators will review that cruiser camera video, Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit previously said.