Cop Kills Black Man in Gunfight

A Cincinnati police officer shot and killed a

22-year-old black man in a gunfight in a West Side neighborhood

early this morning.

Police said the unidentified man, armed with a shotgun, fired first at officer Thomas Haas, who is white. The officer was not injured.

The shooting was the latest incident in a rash of violence that has hit Cincinnati since three days of rioting in April over the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Before Friday, a total of 73 shootings since the riots had left 85 people wounded or killed, compared with nine shootings and 11 victims for the same period last year.

According to police Lt. Col. Ronald Twitty, officers responded at 12:15 a.m. to a report of a man with a shotgun in the Millvale neighborhood. The first officer did not locate the man but Haas responded after another call was received.

Police Chief Thomas Streicher said, based on the number of shell casings recovered at the scene, "it appears there was very active gunfire."

The man was pronounced dead at University Hospital at 12:32 a.m.

Suspect Fired at Least Two Rounds

Streiber said Haas and the suspect were 20-30 feet apart during the shootout.

The suspect fired at least two rounds from a sawed-off, pump action, 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip, the chief said. Haas fired his 9mm handgun and a shotgun at the suspect.

Haas was involved July 13 in a gun battle in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, where most of the rioting occurred.

He pursued on foot a man who police said attempted a robbery. Investigators determined that Haas fired 19 times and the man he was chasing, Deangelo Williams, 24, of Clifton, fired at least 17 times. No one was hit.

Williams was arrested and has been indicted.

Streicher described Haas as "an exceptional police officer," who has been with the police division about eight years. Haas is a beat officer and he is not a member of the recently formed Violent Crimes Task Force.

Haas will be placed on at least seven days paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. Such a leave is routine in officer-involved shootings.