The investigation into whether there should be in any charges in the June fatal shootings of a Cincinnati police officer and an armed suspect police say was staging a “suicide by cop” is nearly complete, a southwest Ohio prosecutor said Tuesday.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said he expects to announce the conclusion Wednesday. No charges have been expected against the officer who shot the suspect in an exchange of gunfire.
Police have said Officer Sonny Kim was responding to two 911 calls on June 19 about a man with a gun. The 911 caller reported the subject was a “belligerent” black man in his early 20s who was wearing a white T-shirt with a gun tucked in his waistband.
Police later determined the caller was actually the suspect himself, 21-year-old Trepierre Hummons, and said he was trying to lure an officer to shoot him. Kim, 48, was the first officer to arrive and Hummons shot him, investigators said.
Hummons then walked over to where Kim was lying wounded to take the officer’s gun, police said. After Officer Tom Sandmann arrived, a gunfight broke out and Hummons was fatally shot, police said.
Deters’ office reviews officer-involved shootings in the county for possible charges.
Deters said he hasn’t decided yet whether to release police dash-camera video from the scene. He resisted earlier news media public-records requests for the video. Kim’s wife has said she didn’t want the video released because it would add to her children’s grief.
“I got the chance to talk to his widow (and) told her what’s coming,” Deters said.
“Losing Sonny Kim was a tragedy for everybody,” he told reporters. “He heard a report of a man with a gun; went right into it. You know, you talk about bravery.”
Some of Hummons’ friends and relatives were upset and expressed anger about his death. Hummons’ mother told police he had been having troubles with a girlfriend and hadn’t been behaving like himself.
In an unrelated case in July, Deters announced a grand jury had indicted a University of Cincinnati police officer on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of a black motorist. That officer, who is white, has pleaded not guilty and a trial date is pending.