Huber Heights police continue to investigate an incident Monday night that left one man dead in the first officer-involved fatal shooting in the city since the early 1980s.
The man, identified as Shannon R. Spencer, 39, died at the scene after an officer fired one shot during the incident at 4413 Paletz Court.
According to police, Spencer made “suicide by cop” threats before exiting the home through the front door carrying a 12-gauge shotgun. Spencer refused to disarm himself after numerous commands from officers to put his gun down.
The officer who fired the shot has not been identified. The officer — who has been with the Huber Heights police department for nearly 10 years — is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues, which is standard procedure, Huber Heights police chief Robert Schommer said.
“Although the investigation is preliminary, the actions the officer took were appropriate,” Schommer said. “(Spencer’s) gun was loaded and in a position ready to fire.”
There have been no previous police calls to the residence, Schommer said. Schommer said he was not aware of any other “suicide by cop” incidents in the city’s history.
Huber Heights police were initially called to the residence shortly after 9 p.m. Monday on the report of a domestic violence case involving a weapon.
According to police, Spencer’s wife told officers she had fled the home with her three children after her husband, who was intoxicated inside with a firearm, had made threats to harm himself. What prompted the call to police, Schommer said, was that Spencer was trying to access his safe that held other guns.
Police secured a perimeter around the home and called in assistance from the Regional Emergency Response Team.
Authorities were able to communicate with Spencer through a window of the home and by phone, and it was then that Spencer made “suicide by cop” threats to the officers who were communicating with him.
“He indicated he was unable to shoot himself,” Schommer said. “He had informed the officers he will start shooting at them, therefore they will shoot him back.”
When a reporter knocked on the Spencer residence Tuesday, a Huber Heights officer was present and politely asked the reporter to step away from the door.
Neighbors described Spencer as a “family guy,” and said they were shocked that something like this happened in what is an otherwise quiet, peaceful cul-de-sac.
“I’m pretty torn about it,” said Terry Brown, who lives on Paletz Court. “I was pretty close with the guy. He was a family guy and good with everybody. He’d drop anything to help anybody. I don’t know much about what happened (Monday) night. I just know it’s a bad situation.”
Aaron Jones, also a resident on Paletz, said he witnessed the shooting from his second-story window. He said he heard the gun shot after police ordered Spencer to put his gun down multiple times.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Jones said. “They’re nice, friendly people. … It’s a very rare instance. It doesn’t concern me at all. It’s still a nice neighborhood.”