MARYSVILLE, Ohio — A grand jury has determined the fatal shooting of a man armed with a gun in Marysville by a Union County Sheriff’s Office deputy in May was justified.
The incident happened at a residence on May 30 in the 1500 block of Meadowlark Lane.
Dispatchers received several calls from inside the home to report that 33-year-old Matthew Todhunter was intoxicated and pointing a gun at people.
Callers also told authorities that there was a parent drop off, during which Todhunter pulled a gun and threatened to shoot his estranged wife.
Investigators said Todhunter told one of his children that, "this is the day that daddy is going to die."
Deputy Jacob Matejko was the first to arrive at the scene. When he arrived, he found Todhunter sitting in his truck outside the home.
Matejko’s body camera video shows him asking Todhunter to put his hands up. The deputy then told dispatch he was holding Todhunter at gunpoint.
Moments later, the dashcam video shows Todhunter sticking his arms out the driver's side window. He then reached back into his truck, opened the door and pointed what appears to be a gun at Matejko.
Matejko then fired his weapon and struck Todhunter multiple times. People on the scene and first responders rendered first aid before Todhunter was taken to Memorial Hospital where he later died.
Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate ruled the manner of death as a suicide, with the cause of death being “law enforcement forced action.”
An investigation conducted by Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation revealed Todhunter appeared to be suicidal.
“The statements Todhunter made to his family members immediately prior to the shooting showed his apparent suicidal intentions,” said Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips. “Simply put, the deputy was faced with an immediate threat of deadly force and was compelled to respond with deadly force.”
According to a press release from Phillips’ office, it was determined that Todhunter’s weapon was a pellet gun.
“There is simply no way the officer could determine this was a replica firearm. It appears to be a Glock-style handgun, with no indication on the weapon it was not a real firearm,” Phillips said.
Phillips said the law is clear that an officer is justified is using deadly force when there is probable cause for an officer to believe that the suspect poses a threat to the officer or others.
“This case is tragic - the Todhunter family lost a loved-one. And, this deputy must live with the knowledge that he took a life, no matter the justification,” Phillips said.