BCI findings support Ackerman account of fatal shooting

·3 min read

Sep. 14—LIMA — The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation's inquiry into the June 21 fatal shooting of Quincy J. Pritchett appears to confirm initial law enforcement accounts that Pritchett reportedly shot at Allen County Sheriff's Deputy Izak Ackerman moments before Pritchett was fatally shot.

A redacted version of the state's investigation was released Monday, days after a special grand jury decided Ackerman, who was struck in the face by a bullet during the altercation, was justified in using lethal force against Pritchett.

Special BCI agents reportedly discovered a Taurus 9mm handgun on Pritchett's left shoulder and two bullet casings that matched bullets inside the handgun, which was reported stolen to the Lima Police Department the same day of the shooting, according to a summary report provided to prosecutors.

One of those bullets was extracted from Ackerman's bulletproof vest, while the other was found in the grass near Pritchett's body, the report said.

Nine other bullet casings believed to originate from Ackerman's firearm were recovered from the scene as well, the report said.

A preliminary autopsy conducted by the Lucas County Coroner's Office ruled Pritchett's death a homicide by multiple gunshot wounds, but a full toxicology report was not completed at the time the report summary was published Monday.

Ackerman's version of events

Pritchett had two outstanding warrants for his arrest, the report shows, though it is unclear whether Ackerman knew about the warrants.

Ackerman told investigators in July that he initiated the traffic stop when he suspected a driver ahead of him was trying to evade him, as the vehicle had made four left turns, according to a summary of his interview with BCI.

The short chase was captured by Ackerman's cruiser camera, which the sheriff's office previously released. But the shooting itself occurred outside the view of the cruiser's headlights, leaving Ackerman's interview with investigators the only full account of the incident.

When Pritchett pulled his Buick into an alleyway and fled, Ackerman told investigators that he treated it like a high-risk felony stop—siren off, weapon drawn, according to the interview summary.

Ackerman used the flashlight on his gun to spot Pritchett, who was lying on the ground with one arm outstretched when Ackerman commanded him to stop and show his hands, according to the interview summary.

Ackerman reportedly put his gun back in its holster and climbed onto Pritchett's back to make an arrest. But Pritchett, who had been lying on his stomach before, reportedly rolled over to face Ackerman, according to the interview summary.

Ackerman recalls seeing a flash of light and hearing a loud bang, followed by a burning sensation on his face that left him feeling disoriented, according to the report. He then reportedly pulled out his weapon and straddled Pritchett, shooting into the dark until Pritchett's body stopped moving, according to the interview summary.

BCI findings dispute rumors of another person at scene

Hours after the shooting, a woman told investigators they should speak with one of Pritchett's nephews, whom she said was "causing a lot of problems" in Lima and may have been in the car with Pritchett, according to an interview report published by BCI.

Call records show Pritchett was on the phone with his nephew minutes before his death, according to the report. But he reportedly told investigators that Pritchett dropped him off before the shooting, noting that he voluntarily came in for an interview to "clear his name."

The report itself seemingly discounts the idea of another person at the scene: Ackerman told investigators that he did not see anyone else in the car with Pritchett, and cruiser video does not appear to show anyone else leaving Pritchett's vehicle. Investigators make no mention of the rumor outside of the interview with Pritchett's nephew and the initial tip.