Investigation underway after deputy discharges firearm while responding to call


(Getty Images)

ATHENS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into an incident in Athens County after a deputy discharged a firearm while responding to a call.

According to the Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith, Lieutenant Mike Burba responded to a call around 10:30 a.m. responded to the 8300 block of State Route 144 in Stewart Ohio as a follow-up to a stolen car investigation. When he arrived at the scene, family members told Burba a man identified as Ryan Miller, 39, of Stewart, Ohio, was “upset and was going to harm himself with a firearm.”

The sheriff’s department says Miller allegedly fled into the woods. The deputy found Miller after a brief search, and according to the sheriff, he refused to cooperate with Burba. Smith says Miller refused to show his hands, which led the deputy to believe he had a firearm.

According to Smith, Miller “made a gesture indicating he was going to shoot Lt. Burba,” which caused to then Burba discharge one round from his firearm. The sheriff’s office says Miller was not struck and immediately surrendered.

While the Miller was not harmed, Smith says the case was turned over to the Ohio BCI for further investigation. He said “It is my policy that an outside agency review any critical incident
that involves the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.”

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