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Prosecutor: No charges against Wyoming officers who fatally shot man

Wyoming OIS
Posted at 1:58 PM, Feb 03, 2023

WYOMING, Ohio — Wyoming officers who shot and killed a man they suspected was involved in a burglary will not face charges, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday.

Body-worn camera footage from the moment Wyoming police officers shot and killed Joe Frasure was shown during a press conference held by the prosecutor's office.

You can watch the full body camera footage below:

"Whether he was driving intentionally to run the officers over or whether he was trying to flee, we will never know for sure," said Melissa Powers, who has been tapped as Hamilton County's prosecutor after Joe Deters was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Powers added that it didn't matter if Frasure was just attempting to flee, because in the end Wyoming officers were given cause to fear for their lives as Frasure accelerated a silver van in officers' direction multiple times. Officers were unable to be sure they could safely get out of the vehicle's path because the incident happened in a tight, enclosed space, Powers said.

The shooting happened Monday; Frasure died in the hospital overnight Tuesday.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said three Wyoming officers responded to a home on Durrell Avenue around 12:40 a.m. Monday for the report of a possible burglary.

When they arrived, they encountered two people in the back of a vacant home, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey said.

On Tuesday, Wyoming Police Chief Brooke Brady identified the people involved as Joe Frasure and his father. Family members at a Monday night vigil for Frasure said the two were not burglarizing the house, saying it belonged to a relative who had recently died.

Investigators said the two men did not respond to officers' commands and attempted to leave the scene. Brady said body-worn cameras captured Frasure refusing to exit a minivan at the back of the driveway. Brady said Frasure then reversed the vehicle "at a high rate of speed" before hitting a tree and accelerating toward the officers.

Powers said officers fired roughly four shots at Frasure before he crashed the minivan into the building; three hit the vehicle and "at least one shot" hit Frasure, killing him, Powers said. She said she did not know whether any other shots hit Frasure.

Frasure was then pulled from the vehicle and taken to UC Medical Center, where officials said he was in critical condition.

Frasure's brother, Joseph Frasure Jr., claimed in the days after the shooting that his brother was shot in the back of his head.

"Three times," he said. "You know if you're back of the head, that means you're not a threat right?"

During Friday's press conference, Powers disputed that and said she believed Frasure was shot through the side of his head.

On Wednesday, the coroner's office reported that Frasure had died in the overnight hours.