Kettering police officer Jonathon McCoy gave nearly 30 commands to the occupants of a gray Ford van last Sunday once he saw the front-seat passenger had a gun in his right front pocket.
What started as a traffic stop of the woman driver for not signaling while changing lanes and malfunctioning brake lights escalated into an officer firing nine shots at Jason Hoops.
Many of McCoy’s commands included swear words as he yelled, “You reach for that gun, I will blow your brains out, do you (expletive) understand me?”
Kettering police Chief Chip Protsman said during a Friday press conference that in the 69 seconds from when McCoy, 27, noticed a Ruger handgun’s grip sticking out of Hoops’ front-right pants pocket, the officer told Hoops many times to comply.
Protsman said McCoy told Hoops six times to get his hands up, six times to put his hands on the dash, four times not to move, twice not to reach for the gun, twice not to do anything stupid and four times to relax.
“We know there was a physical confrontation where the officer reached in and grabbed hold of Mr. Hoops’ right arm, trying to stop him from reaching down towards the gun,” Protsman said. “This continues for a little bit.
“We now know through the investigation that Mr. Hoops pulled his hand away from him and then reached down for the gun, and the officer stepped back, and that’s when the shots were fired.”
McCoy told dispatchers, “Shots fired. Shots fired,” before again yelling, “Hands up!” and firing four more shots.
“Through the investigation, we now know that at that time, that Mr. Hoops was looking at him and his hands did drop down towards where the weapon was again and the officer fired again for the second time because he felt threatened.”
Hoops, 33, who rented an apartment in Dayton but also had lived in Fairborn, died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
The female driver and other male in the van could be heard asking Hoops — who did not initially provide his name to the officer — say, “Jason, please don’t do it” and “it’s just not worth it,” Protsman said.
After the shooting, screaming and crying can be heard as McCoy yelled at the driver and other passenger to get on the ground. Several other officers arrived, and Hoops’ body was taken out of the van as officers and medics administered first aid.
Protsman said that when officers were searching for the gun and opened the van’s door, “The gun was laying on the floorboard in between the door and the seat,” the chief said. “So, at some point, that gun did come out of his pocket during this encounter.”
PHOTOS FROM THE SCENE: Kettering shooting
Protsman said a criminal investigation of McCoy’s actions would take place and the grand jury process initiated before an internal probe. The chief said his officer would remain on administrative duty until the grand jury process was complete.
“What I’ve seen in this video, I’m pretty confident in saying that this officer did a very good job on this stop,” Protsman said, adding that Hoops had felony convictions and was legally prohibited from carrying a firearm.
Protsman said police had a signed statement from someone who said Hoops said was not going to go back to prison and “was willing to take out any cop that he had to.”
McCoy’s personnel record
McCoy, who has worked for Kettering police since May 2015, was found to have violated department policy by discarding of contraband (roaches) on the ground during a call in February 2017.
While saying McCoy’s solution to a call was legal, Protsman wrote that “there was much more that could have been done to properly and thoroughly handle this call for service.”
Officer McCoy was one of three Kettering officers who received a commendation for actions taken April 26, 2016, to save a life. The officers recognized an unresponsive man needed medical attention and administering CPR and using an automated electronic defibrillator before paramedics had arrived, the commendation noted.
McCoy also was commended for finding a 60-year-old man in need of medical assistance when he was returning the man’s dog to his home.
In his latest performance review, McCoy’s supervisor noted he has a “strong work ethic and consistently leads the platoon in traffic related activity and on arrests, with a focus on drug charges” and that he’s a “hard charger who looks to produce.”
Protsman said that what called “pipe bomb” making materials found at Hoops’ residence were still being investigated, but that he was worried about Hoops’ relatives.
“We’re concerned about his family because we very much know what they’re going through,” Protsman said, “and how (much of) a terrible event (it) is for them.”
A gofundme.com page has been organized to help pay for Hoops’ funeral expenses.
Hoops had two 2009 felony convictions in Greene County Common Pleas Court for assault and possession of controlled substances.
Hoops was “a caring and loving father and took great pride in his family,” according to an online obituary, which said he four children. “He enjoyed spending his free time in the outdoors and had a passion for tattoos and art.
“Jason worked as a sub-contractor for his father. He was a kind and caring son, brother, father, and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him.”