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Probe into Bailey shooting continues

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Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone hosts a press conference Monday concerning Saturday morning’s officer-involved shooting in Bailey at the Sheriff’s Office in Nashville.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office still has not released the names of the three deputies who were placed on administrative leave after the officer-involved shooting of a Bailey man on Saturday.

Jonathan Ramirez, 28, was killed in front of his Bailey home around 5 a.m. Saturday morning after he pulled a weapon on law enforcement officers, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said at a news conference held on Monday at the Sheriff’s Office.

‘Mr. Ramirez had an altercation with Nash County Sheriff’s Office after law enforcement received a call that Mr. Rameriz had been involved in a possible sexual assault. At that time law enforcement went to Maudis Road where the suspect lived. As they approached Ramirez, he pulled out an AR-type weapon. He was told to drop it and he did not and my enforcement officers had to defend themselves and it ended up with the death of Mr. Ramirez,” Stone said.

Stone said he will not release the names of the officers until a later time when the announcement is made in conjunction with the State Bureau of Investigation, which was called in to investigate the incident. The decision was primarily made to protect the officers involved, Stone said.

“My thoughts go to the family in this situation. They are a great family and a very tight-knit family. And it is a bad situation for the family and for the law enforcement officers. These law enforcement officers have to live with this. ... We have to consider what they are going through right now. We are trying to take care of their needs right now and obviously they don’t need the phone calls and threats they may receive at this time,” Stone said.

Stone did provide more details about the events that led up to law enforcement officers tracking down Ramirez’ car and to the final encounter that ended in tragedy.

“Around 4:30 p.m., the female assault victim kind of coached law enforcement about where Ramirez was at. During that call, the woman that reported the assault with her friends told law enforcement that Rameriz had an AK-47 and cocaine in the car,” Stone said.

After the incident occurred, Stone said that cocaine and a loaded 12-gauge 3-inch magnum shotgun with an extended magazine were recovered at the scene.

“That call was why several cars responded to the call on Saturday morning,” Stone said. “We had five officers on duty and luckily, three officers responded to the scene or this could have ended up as a very different situation.”

When asked how long the three officers would be on administrative leave, Stone said it would likely be at least a month. The Sheriff’s Office’s internal investigation will take at least two weeks and the SBI investigation will take even longer.

“We have to wait for toxicology reports and the autopsy and there are still a lot of interviews to conduct,” Stone said. “It is a complex investigation and the reason it will take time is because we want to make sure it is done right and make sure that everything has been covered so there are not any allegations later.”

Stone said in response to comments that CPR was not given, he did not know if any officers administered CPR, but he did know that the EMS was called to the scene right away and took about 15 minutes to respond because of the location of the incident.

Stone also confirmed that bullets from the weapons of law enforcement officers had pierced a nearby home.

When asked if Ramirez could have felt threatened and not realized that he was dealing with law enforcement officers when he pulled the weapon, Stone said that was unlikely because this was an ongoing situation from earlier in the night. He said he also felt sure that officers identified themselves because they were veteran officers. And they were in clearly marked cars and were wearing uniforms, Stone said.

During the confrontation, a conversation did take place between Ramirez and the deputies, but Stone would not reveal the nature of that discussion. That will be released later, Stone said.

The situation would have ended differently if Ramirez had complied with the officer’s request to drop the gun, Stone said.

“Anytime you meet up with law enforcement, the last thing you do is fail to comply with their demands. In this day of violence against law enforcement officers such as the incident with the state trooper who was shot last week, this is on everybody’s mind. This is a different time in America right now,” Stone said.

When asked what actions could be taken to prevent such a tragedy in the future, Stone said, “We need to teach the public that they need to comply with law enforcement officers. When you are approached by law enforcement officers, you should stop, put your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, turn the dome light on and comply. You have to put yourself in the place of these officers. It is easy to talk about deconfliction in this lighted room, but when it is 4:30 in the morning and someone is pointing an assault rifle or shotgun at you, it is a different story.”

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