WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The four officers who responded to a domestic violence situation in Warren in 2020 that ended with the fatal shooting of the suspect have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
According to Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins, the officers acted within their capacity as police officers when they shot and killed David Rigg.
The extensive investigation showed that officers were called to the 2000 block of Hamilton Street SW on reports of a man beating a woman.
When officers arrived, Rigg refused to come out of the house and a Crisis Response Team was called and a two-hour standoff ensued.
During the standoff, Rigg was holding what appeared to be a firearm but was later determined to be a BB gun. Rigg told officers multiple times during the standoff that he was not going to jail and that officers would have to shoot him, according to investigators.
The interaction with Rigg was recorded on microphones from responding officers and dashcam video.
At one point, Rigg came out of the house holding the gun and said,” this is what I’m talking about…I’m not playing.” Rigg began pointing the gun at officers and was shot. According to investigators, four officers fired their weapons. Rigg was shot nine times.
“This is a tragedy in the sense that Mr. Rigg did have some mental issues. He was clearly intoxicated and he put himself in a situation where the officers were left with no choice but to kill him,” said Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Chris Becker. “We have evaluated this situation and looked at all the circumstances and the case law and the facts of this case. It is very clear, without any doubt at all, that four of these officers are absolved.”
The investigation included multiple interviews with witnesses and the victim in the incident as well as the officers. It also included a review of officer audio, dashboard camera video and other forensic evidence, which was reviewed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
“Coupled with Rigg’s words and actions and the facts and circumstances of the case, including the severity of the crimes at issue, including domestic violence, felonious assault of police officers (causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm to officers), Rigg clearly posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers and others, all while he was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest,” according to the investigative report.