news from the Prosecutor's Office

No Charges To Be Filed Against Ross Twp. Officer Involved in Shooting
December 15, 2011

The October Term 2011, December Third Session of the Butler County Grand Jury, having investigated the death of Michael E. Snader, Jr. resulting from the use of lethal force on November 22, 2011 involving Ross Twp. Police Officer Gary Vaughn has found that no charges will be filed.

A detailed investigation concerning the death of Michael E. Snader, Jr. resulting from the use of lethal force has been independently conducted by the Butler County Sheriff, the Butler County Coroner and the Butler County Grand Jury. The conclusion to be reached from these investigations, and I concur, is that the death of Michael E. Snader, Jr. resulted from his refusal to put down a firearm as directed by Police Officer Gary Vaughn and instead pointed the firearm at Officer Vaughn resulting in the use of immediate and justifiable lethal force in the performance of the duties of Officer Vaughn. Witness statements and evidence substantiate an immediate intent by Mr. Snader to use the firearm he possessed against his father-in-law which was avoided by the confrontation with Police Officer Vaughn. Under the circumstance of the firearm being pointed at Officer Vaughn after refusing to disengage as directed by Officer Vaughn, the number of shots fired by Officer Vaughn is of no consequence because once lethal force is the course of action correctly taken, the object is to neutralize aggression by lethal force. This tragic incident resulted from a domestic violence call where Mr. Snader, while intoxicated, threatened the use of deadly force in a manner he expected by his words and conduct to be believed.

Nationally, a significant cause of death to police officers each year results from the response to domestic violence calls under circumstances where judgment is impaired by offenders who are intoxicated by alcohol or other intoxicants. Under the circumstances of this case, Officer Vaughn had the legitimate right not to become another statistic of thoughtless and perceived deadly misconduct of Mr. Snader.

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For more information contact the Prosecutor's Office at (513) 887-3474
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