Man shot by Trotwood cop disputes account

By Katie Wedell and Marc Katz, original post here.

TROTWOOD — The man shot by a Trotwood police officer on Sunday disputed the department’s account of the event, saying he was not suicidal and that the shooting was unjustified.

Denton “Eddie” Little, 40, said Wednesday that he was shocked when he heard a theory put forth by Trotwood police that he was attempting “suicide by cop.”

Capt. John Porter said Tuesday that conversations with Little and other law enforcement agencies led authorities to think Little’s intention was to invoke the officer to respond to him with deadly force.

But Little and his wife, Angela, who spoke with reporters at Miami Valley Hospital on Wednesday, said Little has never been suicidal, despite his admitted criminal past.

Also Wednesday, police released an inconclusive Dash Cam video of the incident that showed Little falling after being shot and an officer preparing to administer first aid.

Porter said the officer shown in the video is the one who shot Little and that he is the department’s K-9 officer. Porter declined to identify that officer by name,  but said he will release the identity on Thursday morning.

The Dayton Daily News has identified the officer as Ron Smith.

Little has at least 10 criminal convictions for offenses including theft, breaking and entering and receiving stolen property going back to 1997. He was convicted of failure to comply with the order of a police officer in 2008 and sentenced to a year in prison.

He was to be sentenced Monday in a car theft case out of Miami County.

He said police are throwing out the suicide statements “because they know they’ve done wrong.”

“I’ve got six grandkids,” he said. He and his wife have been married for 21 years and live in New Lebanon.

In Little’s version of Sunday’s events, he said he saw the Trotwood police cruiser and crossed the street to “get out of his way.”

“I assume I did jaywalk,” Little said, and then the officer told him to “come here” and said he wanted to talk.

Little disputes police claims that he had his hands in his pockets. He said he showed his hands and approached the vehicle because he was told to do so.

“It happened so fast,” he said. The officer fired twice, hitting Little in the torso.

“It’s just not making no sense,” he said. “ He could have Tased me.”

According to Porter, who is a training officer, police are trained to use deadly force if they think they are in danger and the suspect is within 15 to 21 feet, which Little was.

While no weapon was seen on the tape, a backup officer is heard asking about one.

“He could have dropped something under my car,” Smith said. “He just came at me.”

Porter said, “this is not a matter of jaywalking. It was about his (Little’s) actions toward the officer, who remains on paid administrative leave.

“Everybody’s going to be questioning what’s going on? We’re still trying to put together all the pieces. He (Smith) is highly trained in this. He is an instructor with me. Unfortunately, when an individual does not comply with an officer’s actions and they approach in a manner that could invoke deadly force, the officers are trained to return deadly force.”

Video of Eddie’s side here.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Trotwood police at (937) 854-7203.


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