Prosecutor: No unlawful force used by officers in Niles shooting - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Prosecutor: No unlawful force used by officers in Niles shooting

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Eric Gladhill Eric Gladhill
NILES, Ohio -

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has released his final report on a police-involved shooting investigation in the city of Niles, saying there was no unlawful force used by officers in the shooting back in April. 

Watkins said in his findings that it was clear that 45-year-old Eric Gladhill, who was sent to prison for the incident, was engaged in domestic violence when his wife called Niles Police for help just before midnight on April 9 on the 600 block of Vienna Avenue.

She told police she was hiding in a closet to get away from Gladhill, who came home drunk and belligerent.

He allegedly told her," You like calling the cops. Why don't you call them? Why don't you tell them I want to yoke one of them out?" according to the report. 

Five officers came to her aid and immediately responded to protect Gladhill's wife and two children from further harm, according to Watkins. 

Listening to the 911 call you can hear what appears to be three shots fired, screaming by the suspect's daughter, and then you hear Gladhill yell to police "What the f--- are you doing in my house?"

The officer shot at Gladhill because they saw a weapon in his hand, which turned out to be an airsoft gun, a replica of a 9-millimeter Smith and Wesson. 

Gladhill was not hit by the gunfire and fled upstairs, but moments later, he came back downstairs and turned himself into police.

Watkins said the officers risked their lives in entering at night, not fully knowing the danger they faced.

The evidence from the case proved Gladhill was intoxicated, belligerent and threatening to his wife, according to the prosecutor. 

Gladhill knew the police were at his house but still came down the stairs with a gun in his hand, pointing it at officers. 

Watkins concluded the decision to shoot to protect a fellow officer was reasonable under the circumstances.

The investigation into the matter was requested the day after the shooting by the Niles Police Department for the Ohio Attorney General's Office and Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate the incident. 

Gladhill was sentenced to prison July 12 to spend 18 months behind bars. 

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