Type of Incident: Grand Jury Decision / Officer Involved Shooting
Date & Time of Incident:
- Shooting: June 9, 2015 at 03:31 hrs.
- Grand Jury Decision: October 23, 2015
Location of Incident: 800 blk West Sandusky St.
The Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office held a special meeting of the Grand Jury to review the facts of the officer involved shooting in Findlay on June 9, 2015. The Grand Jury returned a decision not to indict in the case of Jeremy Linhart’s death.
Officer Andrew Rudnik a two year veteran of the Findlay Police Department was the officer that made the initial traffic stop on the morning of 06/09/2015 when 30 year old Jeremy Linhart was shot and killed after struggling with officers. Officer Aaron Fletchner, an eleven year veteran of the department, was the back-up officer on the stop. Linhart had been a passenger in the stopped vehicle driven by Ericka Wright of Findlay. Wright was under suspension and officers ordered a vehicle impound per department policy. Linhart and Wright were removed from the vehicle so officers could conduct an administrative inventory of the vehicle. As Officer Fletchner started the inventory, a handgun was discovered in the vehicle, underneath the front passenger seat. Officer Flechtner attempted to arrest Linhart and secure him in handcuffs. There was a verbal exchange between Officer Fletchner and Linhart, and Linhart resisted that arrest. A struggle ensued between Linhart and Officer Flechtner. During that struggle, Linhart managed to climb into the passenger side front door of the stopped vehicle, a 2003 Ford Focus. Officer Flechtner continued to struggle with Linhart attempting to detain and arrest him. While the struggle continued inside the car, Linhart reached under the front passenger seat for a handgun he had previously placed there. Linhart continued to ignore verbal commands throughout the struggle, and refused to remove his hand from under the seat. Officer Fletchner fired one shot hitting Linhart in the chest. Officers performed first aid and Hanco EMS arrived moments later. Linhart was transported to the Blanchard Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officers recovered a loaded Ruger .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun from underneath the front passenger seat in the vehicle. The gun was later tested at the Ohio Bureau of Investigation crime lab and Linhart’s DNA was on the gun. The following illegal narcotics were found inside the Ford after the issuance of a search warrant: Heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
An autopsy was performed by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office and the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. The coroner listed a “significant condition” as “acute combined drug intoxication.” The drugs found in Linhart’s system at the time of the toxicology exam were amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, ephedrine, oxycodone, phenylpropanolamine.
An internal investigation by the Findlay Police Dept. cleared the officers involved of any wrongdoing. The criminal investigation was handled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. That investigation was forwarded to the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office and ultimately presented to the special Grand Jury today.
The officers involved will be returned to full duty.
Findlay Police Department
318 Dorney Plaza
Findlay, Ohio 45840
Lt. Robert Ring