Police shoot, kill man in Belmont County

MARTINS FERRY — A man died Wednesday night after members of law enforcement shot him while they were responding to a domestic violence call outside the city limits.

Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas said in a statement released just before 11 p.m. Wednesday that at least one officer or deputy shot the man inside a home on Washington Boulevard. In addition to deputies from the Sheriff’s Office, officers from the Martins Ferry and Bridgeport police departments had responded to the scene. It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired. Lucas would not say who might have fired the fatal shot.

Reached by phone, Lucas said he was in Columbus and not on the scene Wednesday night when the incident occurred.

The sheriff said Belmont County 911 Dispatch received a call at about 6:40 p.m. about a man chasing his family members with a knife. When officers and sheriff’s deputies reached the home, they found a man outside.

The man outside said the suspect was his brother and that he and his mother were still in the house, Lucas said. The man also told police and sheriff’s deputies that his mother was locked in a room inside. Law enforcement personnel were able to get the mother out of the house through an alternative exit, the sheriff said.

However, the suspect was still inside the home. Deputies and police officers then saw what appeared to be a fire burning inside the residence and “immediately breached” the home, Lucas said.

“Upon entry, officers attempted to end the situation with less lethal methods,” he said in his statement. “However, the situation escalated to the point where weapons were discharged, fatally wounding the suspect.”

Lucas said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will lead the investigation into the shooting. He also said he would not answer any further questions or release additional information Wednesday night.