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Copley Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting

Officer Ben Campbell shot and killed Michael Hance after a shooting rampage that killed seven and critically injured one.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh has cleared Copley Police Officer in the shooting death of .

According to a news release: Walsh concluded that Officer Campbell did not violate any Ohio statutes or federal laws, as he had reason to believe Hance posed an immediate threat to himself and others.

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. 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.

Neighbor and former police officer Keith Lavery, who also shot at Hance in an attempt to end the shooting spree, was also justified in his use of force, Walsh wrote.

Hance, who lived in Copley Township, shot eight people Aug. 7 after an argument at the house that he shared with his girlfriend, Rebecca Dieter. Dead are: 16-year-old students Autumn Johnson and Amelia Shambaugh, Johnson's father and grandparents Bryan Johnson, Gudrun and Russell Johnson, and Craig Dieter and his 11-year-old son Scott Dieter. Only Rebecca Dieter survived.

Police from Copley Township, and officers from the Akron Police, Summit Metro SWAT and the Summit County Sheriff's Department responded quickly, but the shooting spree was over in just over 10 minutes. 

Hance used two pistols as he ran through the neighborhood chasing two of his victims, including the 11-year-old boy.

Copley Police officer  and former Copley officer Lavery shot Hance when they encountered him outside 1219 Schocalog Rd.  and  calls, Hance had chased the young Dieter into the house and killed him there.

Read more:

Copley Shoot Tragedy: Ten Minutes of Terror

Copley Shooting 9/11 Tapes Recall 10 Deadly Minutes

Causes of Death Released

Local Voices Blog: Too Close to Home 

Benevolent Funds for Shooting Victims

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