Copley officer who killed shooting rampage suspect cleared of wrongdoing

COPLEY, Ohio - The Copley police officer who shot and killed a man who was on a shooting rampage through a neighborhood has been cleared by the Summit County Prosecutor.

Officer Ben Campbell killed 51-year-old Michael Hance after Hance went on a shooting spree that left seven people dead and wounded another.

Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh concluded that Campbell did not violate any state or federal laws, and he had reason to believe Hance posed an immediate threat to himself and others, according to a release.

"The U.S. Supreme court has affirmed that police officers have a constitutional right to use deadly force when they think a suspect will cause serious physical harm to another person," Walsh said in a release. "Officer Campbell had a reasonable and justifiable belief that Hance would continue to shoot at people after Hance shot eight people and then refused to comply with police officers' verbal commands to drop his weapon and surrender."

Click the link to read the prosecutor's letter clearing Officer Ben Campbell: http://5.wews.com/YcG

Walsh also cleared Keith Lavery, a neighbor and retired police officer, who also shot at Hance.

The incident occurred in the area of Schocalog Road and Goodenough Avenue on Sunday, Aug. 7.

Those killed by Hance's shooting spree include:

-Russell Johnson, 67, neighbor
-Gudrun "Gerdie" Johnson, 64, neighbor
-Bryan Johnson, 44, the Johnson's son
-Autumn Johnson, 16, Bryan Johnson's daughter
-Amelia Shambaugh, 16, Autumn's friend
-Craig Dieter, 51, brother of Hance's girlfriend
-Scott Dieter, 11, son of Craig

Hance's girlfriend, Rebecca Dieter, was also shot and critically injured.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Copley Shooting Coverage

Copley police officer Ben Campbell honored for bravery Copley police officer Ben Campbell honored for bravery

Copley police officer Ben Campbell, who ended a deadly shooting spree in August 2011, was awarded the Congressional Badge of Bravery.

Victims Victims' families, police still coping with Copley shooting spree one year later

One year after a deadly shooting rampage in Copley Township, Officer Ben Campbell doesn't have any second thoughts or flashbacks to his split-second decision to kill gunman Michael Hance.

Memorial service to be held for 7 killed in Copley shooting rampage August 7, 2011 Memorial service to be held for 7 killed in Copley shooting rampage August 7, 2011

One year ago Tuesday, the close-knit community of Copley Township was rattled when a man went on a shooting rampage, leaving 7 people dead.

Obama honors Copley patrolman for efforts after neighborhood shooting spree Obama honors Copley patrolman for efforts after neighborhood shooting spree

President Obama honored the nation's top police officers on Saturday, including Patrolman Ben Campbell from Copley Township.