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Deters: Officers involved in Fifth Third Center shooting were 'heroic'

Deters: Officers involved in Fifth Third Center shooting were 'heroic'
Posted at 1:30 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 13:47:00-04

CINCINNATI -- Not only were the actions of the police officers involved in the Fifth Third Center shooting justified -- they were heroic, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.

Four police officers responded when a gunman opened fire on bystanders on Sept. 6 at Fifth Third Bank’s headquarters Downtown. Officer Jennifer Chilton, Officer Antonio Etter, Officer Eric Kaminsky, and Police Specialist Gregory Toyeas responded "within seconds" of the shooting, Chief Eliot Isaac said.

Authorities fired a total of 11 rounds, Isaac said, but it’s not yet known which police officer struck the gunman.

Four people died in a matter of minutes. One was the shooter, Omar Santa-Perez, whom one witness said strode into the lobby around 9 a.m. and opened fire on innocent people with a 9 mm handgun before responding officers shot and killed him. 

The shooter killed Richard Newcomer, 64; Prudhi Raj Kandepi, 25; and Luis Felipe Calderón, 48. Two other people were injured and have since been released from the hospital. 

Per policy, the prosecutor's office investigated the officer's actions, but Deters said the evidence was "overwhelming that the shooting was justified."

The gunman shot 35 rounds in four minutes and 28 seconds. He had an more than 200 rounds of ammunition in a briefcase strapped to his back.

"We will never know how many people they saved that day," Deters said in a statement. "Sadly, three innocent people died and two people were seriously injured as a result of Perez’s actions ... people may take for granted the work that our first responders do, but I want to personally thank them for their bravery and service to our community.”