An investigation is underway after a 28-year-old Ohio man died Tuesday, a day after he was shot by police who believed he was a burglary suspect, as, his family says, he was cleaning out his late grandmother's home.
Joe Frasure was shot at early Monday in Wyoming, a city of about 9,000 about 12 miles north of downtown Cincinnati. He was hospitalized and died Tuesday, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.
Wyoming police said officers responded to an apartment building in the 300 block of Durrell Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. for a report that two to three people were trying to break into a residence.
The 911 caller said the apartment should have been vacant.
Responding officers heard activity at the rear of the building and encountered Frasure and his father in the rear driveway, Police Chief Brooke Brady said in a video statement.
She said Frasure was in a minivan and refused commands to exit.
"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. “The officers fired four shots at the minivan as the minivan was accelerating towards them."
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s office said Frasure was struck in the gunfire.
After the shooting, the car struck the building.
"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," she said.
His cause and manner of death have not been released.
Brady said that she has reviewed officer bodycam video of the incident and that it has been shared with the sheriff's office and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, which are investigating.
“This is a tragedy for all involved,” Brady said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time.”
Police did not reply to requests for further details. The prosecutor’s office said the matter is still under investigation.
Frasure's family has disputed the police account, saying he was not a burglary suspect. Rather, they say he and his father had been clearing out an apartment his grandmother lived in before she recently died, NBC affiliate WLWT of Cincinnati reported.
His sister, Shonda Coleman, told the station: “I didn’t hear none of that. I didn’t hear no commands. All I heard is pop, pop, pop, pop. Like, it was, like, 10 rounds.
"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 said.
Prosecutors are expected to hold a news conference Friday with further information, including the officers’ bodycam video.