Wednesday, July 04, 2001

Bullet pierces officer's pants leg

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A bullet ripped through the lower pants leg of a Cincinnati police officer before dawn Tuesday as he approached a suspect in the West End.

        Neither the officer nor his partner were injured. Police said the officers were fired on as they approached a man who was behind the wheel of a stolen 1997 Honda.

        Cincinnati Officers Todd Pierson, 31, and Calvin Johnson, 25, stopped a person near the intersection of York and Linn streets in the West End at 3:47 a.m. After the officers got out of their car, they heard a single gunshot from across the street.

        A bullet went through the lower pants leg of Officer Johnson. The officers did not return fire.

        There have been no arrests in the shooting.

        Capt. Greg Snider, District I commander, said investigators think the shooting stemmed from a dispute between gangs.

        The shooter may have been firing at officers in an attempt to help a fellow gang member escape, he said.

        The man in the Honda, Brain Wilcox, 19, of the West End, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.

        "It reinforces how dangerous our job is,” said Keith Fangman, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "We're wondering, where is the outrage from the police critics when our officers are shot at?”

       Jane Prendergast and Michael D. Clark contributed to this story.



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