SWAT officer explain how they captured Rutledge during standoff


Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of Lincoln Rutledge.

The former Ohio State University employee is facing an aggravated murder charge for the shooting death of CPD SWAT Officer Steve Smith in April 2016.

SWAT Officer Tim O’Donnell testified Rutledge ignored repeated requests to come out peacefully and then fired shots at several SWAT officers who forced down his front door.

“There were three or four officers at that front door and he was shooting at all of us at the front door,” said Officer O’Donnell.

Officer Troy Palmer told the jury he was in the basement when Rutledge fired a shot through the floor. Prosecutors showed the jury Palmer’s tactical vest which was pierced by the bullet.

SWAT was trying to arrest Rutledge for setting his estranged wife's home on fire. Officers testified for more than 12 hours, Rutledge refused to come out and shot his weapon several times, including when SWAT officers tossed a gas canister into the apartment.

Officer Steve Smith was standing in the turret of the SWAT armored car when was shot in the head. Smith died two days later.

Veteran SWAT officer Enoch White testified he was inside the armored car when Officer Smith was shot. White told the jury he heard at least five methodical gunshots and discovered Smith was hit.

"At that point, Officer (Glenn) Thivener appeared out of nowhere and what he did is, he put his life in danger and ran to the back of the truck and they got him loaded up,” said White.

The defense told the jury Rutledge was inside a dark apartment and blinded by both the spotlights on the armored car and fog from the gas canisters, suggesting he couldn’t have deliberately aimed at the officers.

If convicted, Rutledge could face the death penalty.

Testimony is expected to resume Thursday afternoon with the SWAT officer who risked his own life trying to save Officer Smith.