CPD needs third suspect in Avondale shooting, drug bust - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Shot to the chest by CPD officer kills Avondale man

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati Police are now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the third as-yet-unknown suspect that threatened a Cincinnati cop during an undercover drug bust that left one man dead.

Back on November 21, police say they planned to go undercover in Avondale and make a pre-arranged purchase of heroin from the suspects.

But the buy turned bad when the narcotics agents tried to arrest the seller.  The three suspects involved attempted to flee the scene in a car driven by Dontez O'Neal, 19.

Police say O'Neal quickly backed his car into the front of a stopped squad car, causing his airbags to deploy.

Moments later, police say O'Neal, armed with a 45-caliber pistol, shot at Officer Orlando Smith.

Officer Smith shot O'Neal four times, killing him. Once in the head, twice in the shoulder, and the fatal shot to the left side of the chest. O'Neal also suffered a laceration to his right forearm.

One of the other suspects, Robert Matthews, was shot in the arm.  He was taken to the hospital for treatment and then booked into jail. 

At his court appearance, Matthews claimed he didn't have a weapon at the time of the shooting.

The third suspect was shot at twice and is still at large. Now, police are putting money down to find him.

Police say their investigation so far indicates the shooting was justified.

Ozie Davis, Executive Director of the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation, agrees, "Everything was going as it was supposed to go until you don't stop, you resist arrest, you take a car and bang it into the police officer's car and that causes the police officers to have to protect themselves."

Police said the camera in Officer Smith's car didn't record any of the shooting.

"His in-car camera was working earlier in the tour. It was not working. It was not even powered on at that time," said Assistant Chief James Whalen. "In his interview Friday, he turned it on and tested it as procedure, and it was working fine. He has no knowledge why it was off. I can tell you from history that happens to us all the time, unfortunately".

On Monday, FOX19's Dave Culbreth sat down with Dontez O'Neal's mother and showed her the police press conference.

"Looking at the video, that's sounds ridiculous to me that the police camera stopped working," said Anternitia O'Neal. "I mean, I've never heard of the police camera not working, especially if you're calling yourself doing some type of drug bust. There isn't any way that camera stopped working. So, that shows that he wasn't doing his job when he got in the police cruiser. And, how many police cars were on the scene? What happened to their cameras?"

The shooting is now the subject of three separate investigations.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at (513) 352-3040.

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