An Ohio man has died after being shot by police who believed he was a burglar – but his family says he had only been cleaning out his late grandmother’s house.
Police in Wyoming, a city outside Cincinnati, encountered Joe Frasure Jr. 28, while responding about 1 a.m. Monday to a 911 call that a few people were trying to break into an apartment on Durrell Avenue, NBC News reported.
Cops found Frasure Jr. and his father, Joe Frasure Sr., at the rear of the building, where the younger man refused orders to get out of a minivan, Police Chief Brooke Brady said.
“The minivan reversed at a high rate of speed, before hitting a tree, at which point the vehicle accelerated rapidly at our officers,” she said in a video statement, according to the news outlet.
“The officers fired four shots at the minivan as the minivan was accelerating towards them,” she added.
Frasure Jr. was struck by the gunfire and the vehicle slammed into the building, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office.
“With the vehicle smoking and the engine still running, our officers forced their way into the minivan and pulled Mr. Frasure from it. They then provided life-saving care and he was transported to University Hospital,” Brady said.
“This is a tragedy for all involved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time,” she added.
The man’s family said he and his dad were just helping his sister clear out the apartment where their grandmother lived before she died recently, WLWT reported.
“I didn’t hear no commands. All I heard is pop, pop, pop, pop. Like, it was, like, 10 rounds,” his sister Shonda Coleman told WLWT, as she refuted the police chief’s account.
“I want to see the bodycam. I want all the cops that was here, every one of them that was here, I want their information,” she added.
Coleman Sr. also told WLWT that his son was not aiming at police when he was in the minivan.
The family provided a local news outlet a photograph of him on life support at UC Medical Center, where he died Tuesday.
On Wednesday, friends and relatives held a small protest outside the Wyoming Police Department, Local 12 reported.
“I want to know why they killed my brother. I want to see the video,” said Frasure’s brother, who is also named Joe.
“My brother was a father, a brother, a son, a family member. A loving friend. Please help me get justice for my brother, please. Help me. Please help me,” he said.
The body cam footage has reportedly been turned over to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office and the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office.