Man killed in officer involved shooting identified
Authorities have released the identity of the man who was shot by Struthers police following a high speed chase last Friday. Police say 35 year old James Sheets pulled a gun, but family members say this isn't the man they know.
Tuesday, April 5th 2022, 11:30 PM EDT
Authorities have released the identity of the man who was shot by Struthers police following a high speed chase last Friday.
Police say 35 year old James Sheets pulled a gun, but family members say this isn't the man they know.
WFMJ news looked into his background and talked with his family about questions they have.
In the dispatch recording you can hear a police officer say, "Stand by I'm in pursuit. He just hit me."
The audio recorded Friday, April 1, 2022 gives the time line of a police pursuit which started during a traffic stop at State and Short Streets in Struthers.
Shortly after 5:06 pm an officer says the driver of a gold Malibu struck him in a drive through, leading police on a pursuit which ended about 8 minutes later at the intersection of Steel Street and Salt Springs Road after he crashed when police converged on the vehicle.
The audio from the officer goes on to say, "He pulled a gun on us. Shots fired. Shots fired."
James Sheets died at the scene. Police say they used a taser first, and Struthers Police Chief emphasized Sheets pulled a gun.
We don't know if he fired any shots at police. Court records show Sheets had a history of petty thefts and a few drug related charges form 2005 to 2020.
But the mother of his children who was with him for 15 years Christy Rohn explained this is not the man she knows.
She tells us James Sheets has never owned a handgun, but in the past owned a
"He's never owned a gun, not ever so I have no idea where that came from. I just want to know the truth and see for myself," said Rohn.
Christy Rohn says to his sons James was a superhero, and a great dad not only to them but also to three children who weren't his, but also a great daddy to three children whose dads are not in their lives.
Rohn tells us she also has custody of two girls whose mom was found dead, and whose dad is not in their lives.
"James was genuinely good-hearted. He was our entire life. All I know is my kids are not going to have their dad, and I just don't know what to do. I don't know how to explain it to them they will never have a father. He was the fun dad. This is the hardest thing ever. We had taken a break but he was always there for our kids. My son asked if I could call daddy to take them swimming. They video chat and Face Time all the time. He loved his kids more than anything," said Rohn.
Struthers Police turned over the investigation to Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Youngstown police assisted in the pursuit, but were not involved in the shooting.
WFMJ News has requested a copy of that body camera video from Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Struthers officer or officers involved in the shooting of Sheets are on paid leave which is standard policy.
Struthers Police Chief has referred all questions to BCI.
Check back with WFMJ.com and WFMJ News for updates on this story.