Police: Officer killed man holding pharmacist at knifepoint

CINCINNATI (AP) — A police officer fatally shot a man who was holding a knife to a pharmacist’s throat in a drugstore on Monday, a chief said.

Officers responded at about 2:30 a.m. to emergency calls about someone jumping over a counter in the pharmacy area of a Walgreens store in Hamilton, 30 miles north of Cincinnati, Hamilton police Chief Craig Bucheit said.

“Dude hopped the counter,” a 911 caller told a dispatcher.

The caller said he couldn’t tell if the man was armed and he wasn’t sure what was going on. He added, though, that “it looks a little suspect.”

Two officers arrived to find a man holding the pharmacist “hostage with a knife at her throat,” Bucheit said. The chief said the man, later identified as 34-year-old Cincinnati resident Kelley Brandon Forte, didn’t comply with police commands and was fatally shot by one of the officers after a brief confrontation.

The pharmacist was “shook up” but wasn’t injured, and neither of the officers was injured, the chief said.

A police report said the man used a knife to force the pharmacist to take money from a cash drawer.

Police said the officer who shot the man is a 33-year-old department veteran of nine years. They said the other officer is a 23-year-old who has been with the department for a year and didn’t fire any shots.

Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to department policy. Police said they anticipate that the case will be presented this week to a grand jury, which could consider whether any charges are merited.

Police were reviewing store video as they worked to determine a timeline of what happened. They said they also were checking to see if there was any connection between the man and armed robberies at other pharmacies in the region.

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