By Melanie Yingst
TROY — One Troy man is dead following a gun fight with law enforcement in an alley in the area of Monroe Street, between Franklin and Main streets, in Troy on Sunday morning.
Franklin Jones III, 30, of Troy, was pronounced dead at the scene after he and police officers exchanged gunfire in the alley following a 9-1-1 call of shots fired and a man wounded in the area.
In the incident, Troy Police Department Sgt. Jeff Kunkleman was shot in the leg in the shooting exchange with Jones. He was treated and released from Miami Valley Hospital hours later, according to officials.
The wounded, 24-year-old Samuel Butler, is still listed as a patient at Upper Valley Medical Center.
According to Troy Police Department’s Detective Chris Anderson, a 9-1-1 call sent officers, including Miami County Sheriff’s Office officials, to the area of Monroe Street between Main and Franklin streets after a report of shots being fired in the area after 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
A perimeter was set up and search was conducted when officers saw the suspect, Jones, in an alley. Gun shots were exchanged and the suspect pronounced dead at the scene, Anderson said.
According to Anderson, the following are the names of all the officers who were involved in the shooting incident: Sgt. Jeff Kunkleman; Patrolman Jesse Canan; Patrolman Jared Cole and Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy Will Roberts.
“We don’t know what exactly started this — we’ll be investigating this thoroughly,” Anderson said Sunday.
Anderson said all the officers involved in the incident are currently on paid administrative leave following a complete investigation.
Anderson said the incident may have started in downtown Troy and escalated in the neighborhood where in the incident took place.
The investigation is still pending and witnesses are still being interviewed, Anderson said Sunday afternoon. The Bureau of Crime Investigation is assisting the department with its investigation.
It is the third shooting event in the city of Troy in 2013. The first incident occurred on Aug. 20 with the officer involved shooting death of Al Pickett. Miami County Coroner ruled the death a suicide by homicide when two Troy Police officers shot Pickett, who was armed and had a suicide note in his pocket following a domestic violence call at Staunton Commons. Two Troy Police Department officers, Patrolman Matthew Moiser and Patrolman Zach Mumford were place on paid administrative leave and were later cleared in the incident. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted in the investigation.
Troy’s second homicide occurred on Oct. 30 when two Troy teens allegedly shot and killed Nathan Wintrow, 20, in his home on Canal Street Troy. The case is still pending in court against three teens involved in Wintrow’s murder.
MAYOR ADDRESSES POLICE STAFFING
On Sunday, Mayor Michael Beamish sent a letter to all city council members and the media, including the Troy Daily News, addressing the staffing issues of the police department. In the letter, Beamish requests up to three new police officers to be added to the Troy Police Department following Sunday’s incident.
In the letter addressed to city public service and safety director Patrick Titterington, Beamish wrote the following:
“In discussions with City Council related to the 2014 budget recommendations, we indicated that we would, as an administration duty and function, analyze whether the current budgeted staffing levels in the Police Department are adequate or whether those levels should be increased up to the pre-2007 budgeted levels.
Currently, the Police Chief is seeking a permanent replacement for former Troy Police Officer Kirt Wright. Additionally, due to at least one expected retirement and the planned absence of an officer in early 2014 for National Guard training, you and I have agreed that a temporary double-fill of Officer Wright’s position by hiring a second Officer is warranted.”
“I understand and expect that we should, with the help and support of Auditor John Stickel, continue to closely monitor our General Fund revenue performance and forecasts. However, in light of recent events, specifically the placement on paid Administrative Leave of a Sergeant and two Officers, I am hereby directing that we make both of these two new hires permanent. To supplement staffing and to ensure we are adequately covered in the event of future absences, I am also directing that we hire a third Officer to supplement staffing as well. Overall, that will increase our 2014 staffing by two Officers above what was passed by City Council in the 2014 General Fund budget.”
Beamish said he authorizes any and all resources necessary to complete the hiring process as quickly as possible. Beamish ended the letter to Titterington noting Titterington’s full cooperation in the effort to hire the new officers as quickly as possible.