Warren County, OH – City and county officials held a press conference on Thursday to provide more details about a shooting that left a veteran Clearcreek Township police officer in critical condition and a 65-year-old award-winning horse trainer dead (video below).
The incident occurred at a residence located in the 5000-block of state Route 48 at approximately 9 p.m. on July 12, WXIX reported.
Clearcreek Township Police Department (CTPD) Chief John Terrill said CTPD Officer Eric Ney and Sergeant Nicole Cordero responded to the home after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance from the suspect’s wife at about 7:15 p.m., according to the Journal-News.
Chief Terrill said his officers were familiar with the suspect, 65-year-old Mark Evers, and that they had responded to the home for multiple other incidents in the past.
The chief said none of those incidents involved domestic violence, but that some included information about weapons, the Journal-News reported.
Evers’ wife told the 911 dispatcher that her husband was crashing into her vehicle with an ATV.
“My husband just took our gator and he’s been ramming the heck out of my car,” the woman said calmly in the 911 recording. “He’s destroyed my car. He’s mad at me.”
Evers’ wife said there were no weapons involved, but that her husband did have multiple firearms, the Journal-News reported.
She told the 911 dispatcher that Evers became upset because he believed she had wrapped a horse’s legs incorrectly.
“He’s just mad at me,” she explained. “We’re together 24/7 and he – it doesn’t take much.”
But the woman’s calm demeanor changed a moment later, the 911 recording revealed.
She was heard repeatedly telling Evers, “Don’t touch me” before she let out a scream and asked for police to hurry, WLWT reported.
“He went back into the house I think,” the woman said, her voice increasingly becoming more frantic. “There’s gun’s in there, so I just want you to be careful!”
When Sgt. Cordero and Officer Ney arrived at the scene, they spotted Evers ramming an ATV into his wife’s car, the Journal-News reported.
The suspect then drove off towards the back portion of his property, where he remained for about an hour, Chief Terrill said on Thursday.
The officers were able to talk with Evers by cell phone and attempted to convince him to come back to the main farmyard.
Chief Terrill said the officers intended to arrest the suspect for domestic violence, the Journal-News reported.
The suspect eventually agreed to come back to the officers’ location but demanded that police stay at least 10 feet away from him.
Evers also let Sgt. Cordero bring him some paperwork to complete, but the situation escalated when she asked him to turn off the ATV’s engine, the Journal-News reported.
“The Gator guns, you can hear the engine rev as maybe he was trying to take off,” Chief Terrill told reporters. “It was her intent at that point in time to arrest him for the domestic violence charge.”
Dashcam footage showed Evers bailing out of the opposite side of the vehicle.
He then raised his arm and opened fire on Officer Ney, who was walking around the front of the ATV.
The 14-year department veteran was shot in the face, the Journal-News reported.
Sgt. Cordero returned fire, hitting the gunman.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Evers also shot himself during the exchange of gunfire, leaving him with a contact wound, WLWT reported.
“Mr. Evers suffered a contact wound to his head,” Fornshell said, according to the Journal-News. “It is apparent that Sgt. Cordero is not close enough to Mr. Evers to have inflicted that contact wound.”
Chief Terrill said the situation unfolded rapidly.
“This whole thing takes about 10, 15 seconds and it’s over,” he said.
A medical helicopter flew the wounded officer to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where he remained in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit on Tuesday night, according to The Enquirer.
“[He was] shot in the head, so we’re not quite sure how this is going to turn out yet,” the chief told reporters at the time.
Chief Terrill said on Thursday that Officer Ney regained consciousness one day earlier and that he was able to walk around on Thursday, but that his wounds were severe and his road to recovery would be long, the Journal-News reported.
He will also need to undergo multiple surgeries, according to WCPO.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (OBCI) is handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
“Based upon the information provided by the autopsy yesterday, we do know at this point in time that (Evers) was shot multiple times, there was a contact wound to his head — which could have been fatal — and there was also at least one other gunshot to his torso, which itself could have been fatal,” Fornshell said on Thursday.
“However, the sequencing of which of those shots came first may dictate how the coroner ultimately decides whether this is a suicide, a homicide or, if they’re not able to determine the sequencing, an undetermined manner of death,” he explained.
Evers was a nationally-known, award-winning horse trainer and harness horse driver, the Journal-News reported.
His team won a Breeder’s Crown last year, according to WCPO.
Evers had 452 career wins as a trainer and 830 wins as a driver, Harnesslink reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content: