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Barnesville Woman Dies After Exchanging Gunfire With Law Enforcement in Guernsey County

BARNESVILLE — A Barnesville woman is dead after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement in Guernsey County on Friday.

Guernsey County Sheriff Jeffrey D. Paden issued a statement that indicates his deputies were requested to assist in a vehicle pursuit on U.S. 22 near Ohio 800 in northeastern Guernsey County shortly before 9:30 p.m. Friday. Paden said his Communications Center was notified that officers from the Barnesville Police Department were in pursuit of a vehicle that was operated by a female wanted on an active arrest warrant for assault on a police officer from a prior incident involving Barnesville officers.

According to Barnesville Police Chief Rockie Sirianni, his officers saw the female and knew there was a warrant for her arrest, so they attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle she was driving.

“She failed to comply and a pursuit ensued,” Sirianni said Monday, noting the woman drove north on Ohio 800 and the west on U.S. 22.

The driver, a 47-year-old woman from Barnesville according to Paden’s statement, continued into Guernsey County, where deputies and troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol became involved at the request of Barnesville officers.

“Deputies attempted to spike the tires on the suspect’s vehicle on U.S. 22 near Rainbow Road, but the driver was able to avoid the spike strips and continued westbound on U.S. 22 near the Salt Fork State Park region,” Paden states. “As the pursuit approached Lake Ridge Road, troopers were able to successfully spike the tires on the vehicle. The driver then turned onto Beeham Run Road, then onto National Road then finally onto State Route 285 (Wintergreen Road) where the vehicle became disabled due to the tires being totally disintegrated. At that time deputies, troopers and Barnesville police officers began shouting verbal commands to the female driver to exit the vehicle. She reportedly became very agitated, failed to obey the commands and began shouting at the officers.”

A Cambridge police officer and his K-9 were requested to report to the scene and, after several minutes of failed negotiations, the Cambridge officer approached the vehicle intending to deploy his K-9 to extract the female from the vehicle, Paden wrote. Upon approach, the officer notified other officers that the woman had a gun and pointed it at him before he and the K-9 retreated and took cover.

When Paden arrived and learned the woman had a firearm, he asked that Old Washington Volunteer Fire Department bring its squad with medics to the area. Paden then began attempting to communicate with the woman, encouraging her to exit the vehicle. She reportedly continued to be belligerent and uncooperative.

Paden then activated the Guernsey County Special Response Team to the scene.

“Once the team arrived, Paden continued to encourage the female to exit the vehicle, but her behavior continued. During this time officers could see the female pointing a firearm at the driver’s side window of her vehicle,” the statement reads.

“(T)actical plans were devised for the SRT to approach the vehicle in an attempt to remove her from the car. SRT members approached with less lethal and lethal munitions as well as distraction devices. As the SRT made contact with the female, a Taser was deployed and reportedly was ineffective after several attempts. The female still armed with the handgun, reportedly exchanged gunfire with the officers and she was wounded. An SRT member believed to have been shot was pulled from the scene and tended to by other officers as SRT medics began life saving measures on the female.”

Paden later reported that the deputy was not injured.

The woman was transported by Old Washington medics to Southeastern Ohio Medical Center in Cambridge and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Detectives from the sheriff’s office Investigations Division were then requested at the scene.

Lt. Sam Williams of the Investigations Division said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crime Scene Unit and investigators from the Officer Involved Shooting Unit of the Attorney General’s Office were notified and requested to respond to the scene. Williams said this is the protocol of the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office when any of its deputies are involved in a shooting to allow for an impartial investigation.

The investigation continues and Sheriff Paden said he will not be releasing the identity of the female or the deputies involved at this time.

Sirianni deferred to Paden regarding the release of the woman’s identity. He did say that his officers had encountered her “a couple of months ago” and that the incident turned violent, leading to criminal charges and the warrant for her arrest.

He noted that none of his officers was involved in the shooting.


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