BY TANYA BRICKING and JOHN HOPKINS
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A man with a history of drug abuse and violence shot Cincinnati Police Officer Kathleen S. Conway four times as she sat in her cruiser on Central Parkway near Ezzard Charles Drive Monday night. Then the assailant pushed Conway into the passenger side, got behind the wheel and started to drive north on Central Parkway.
Police examine Officer Conway's car, which crashed into the Samuel Adams Brewery on Central Parkway.
(Yoni Pozner photo)
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That's when the wounded 23-year-old officer pulled her service revolver and shot the man dead. The cruiser then clipped another police car coming toward it and crashed into the Samuel Adams Brewery on Central Parkway.
That was the first police report at 10:30 this morning on the bizarre shooting involving the District 1 officer. Earlier, at a briefing at University Hospital, doctors said Officer Conway's wounds were not life-threatening and she was in serious but stable condition.
The assailant was identified as Daniel Williams, 41, of downtown. Williams had a record of drug abuse and violence, according to Lt. Col Tom Streicher, who gave the police briefing.
Kathleen S. Conway
Lt. Col. Streicher said two witnesses observed Williams shoot Officer Conway. He said police found a .367 Magnum with six spent rounds in Williams' hand.
Williams had been shot in the head, Lt. Col. Streicher said.
He said police had not been able to interview Officer Conway.
At the hospital briefing, a surgeon who operated on Officer Conway, Dr. Jay A. Johanningman, predicted a full recovery for her and said she displayed "extraordinary courage and personal bravery" through her ordeal.
She was "extremely fortunate" that the bullets did not cause any organ damage, said another surgeon, Dr. Scott Frame. While she was wearing a protective vest, all the wounds were to her lower body.
One bullet entered her left leg, passed into her right leg and shattered her right hip in the ball and socket area. The other bullets entered her groin and left buttock, and grazed her back.
Officers pull the body of a man from Officer Conway's cruiser.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
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A bruise on her left forehead probably indicated that she struggled with her assailant, Dr. Johanningman said. He said the location of the bullet wounds indicated that she was trying to protect herself when she was shot.
The hip injury will take 6-8 weeks to heal, Dr. Johanningman said. She probably will be hospitalized 5-7 days.
Officer Conway, who underwent five hours of surgery, was "awake and alert" this morning, Dr. Johanningman said.
Officer Conway, a graduate of Micholas High School and Thomas More College, has been on the police division since July 1996.
Police worked into the morning trying to determine what happened. The shooting occurred about 7:40 p.m.
At the scene Monday night, police spokesman Lt. Tim Schoch said ''a female officer came on the radio screaming for help, indicating she was shot.''
A tape of police radio traffic released by the division Monday night revealed the extremely excited voice of Officer Conway, at 7:42 p.m., shouting into her microphone:
''I need assistance! I'm shot in the car. Help, I'm shot!''
When police arrived on the scene, only a few short blocks from District 1 headquarters, they found both Officer Conway and the suspect - identified only as a black male in his 20s - in the front seat of Officer Conway's cruiser.
Police at the scene said they were investigating the possibility the suspect had hijacked Officer Conway's cruiser.
Dr. Johanningman and Dr. Frame, University Hospital trauma specialists, performed surgery on Officer Conway for two hours and 45 minutes, recovering two bullets - one from her lower abdomen and another from the upper part of her right hip. The doctors said the four gunshots caused seven to nine different holes in her body.
Cincinnati Police Chief Michael Snowden, right, listens as Dr. Brian Gibler, director of emergency medicine at University Hospital, describes Officer Conway's condition.
(Yoni Pozner photo)
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Officer Conway's parents were with her at the hospital night, police said.
Dr. Brian Gibler, director of emergency medicine at University Hospital, said the officer was ''cool and calm'' when she was brought into the emergency room at about 8 p.m.
The doctor said she was given fluids to stabilize her and was talking to doctors as she was wheeled to the emergency operating room on the second floor.
After the surgery to remove the bullets, Officer Conway was taken back to surgery to repair her hip.
The shooting of Officer Conway came about two months after the Cincinnati Police Division lost Spc. Ronald Jeter and Officer Daniel Pope, both shot by a man the two were seeking on a domestic-violence warrant. The shooter, Alonzo Davenport, killed himself shortly after shooting the officers.
Officers hold vigil outside the emergency room at University Hospital.
(Michael Snyder photo)
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It took police officers 47 minutes that night to respond to a 911 call that the two officers were dying in a Clifton Heights apartment. The delay is the focus of a disciplinary investigation of the two 911 workers who handled the calls that night.
Two other area police officers and a firefighter have lost their lives in the line of duty in the past two months.
On Jan. 4, Covington police officer Mike Partin, 25, disappeared into the Ohio River before dawn, when he fell off the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge while trying to help another officer catch a fleeing man. Officer Partin was the first Covington police officer to die in the line of duty in almost 30 years. His body has not been found.
On Jan. 12, Centerville Police Officer John P. Kalaman, 29, and Robert J. O'Toole, 26, a Montgomery County township firefighter-EMT, died after a Camaro struck them as they assisted a driver involved in a single-car crash. The accident occurred along an icy overpass of the Interstate 675 median near the Wilmington Pike exit, about 50 miles north of Cincinnati.
Howard Wilkinson, Julie Irwin, Allen Howard and Sheri Hall contributed to this report.