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Search continues for suspects who shot Ohio cop

Police Chief Gary Holland said a person of interest was questioned, released and is not considered a suspect


ByJon Baker and Nancy Molna
The Times-Reporter

NEWCOMERSTOWN, Ohio — Two armed men are being sought in connection with the shooting of a Newcomerstown police officer on Tuesday morning.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office reported that one suspect was wearing a vest, and that they are armed with a shotgun and hand guns.

Patrolman Bryan J. Eubanks, 37, was taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center in Cambridge for treatment of a wound to his right forearm, according to Police Chief Gary Holland. He said the single bullet that went through Eubanks' arm caused a clean wound without serious damage.

"That's a relief," Holland said.

Eubanks has been with the department 14 years.

He was shot after he stopped a black Geo Tracker at 10:08 a.m. on the south end of the S. River Street bridge over the Tuscarawas River. The shooting took place in Oxford Township.

"Upon approaching the vehicle, a white male passenger opened fire on the officer, shooting at him twice, striking him once in the arm," Holland said. "The officer sustained non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. He was transported to the hospital by (Newcomerstown Emergency Rescue Service, Inc.) and has since been released."

Sheriff Orvis Campbell said the Tracker is believed to have two doors with a rear-tinted window.

One of the suspects was described as a skinny, white male with tattoos on his face. Information was not available, however, if that individual was the driver or the passenger. He and the other suspect were reported to have been in a black Geo Tracker with blacked-out windows. The vehicle has a hard shell on the back, tinted windows, black rims, wide tires and no license plates.

Both occupants in the Geo Tracker fled the scene. The passenger was wearing a lime green shirt and some type of vest. The driver was described as a white male wearing a red shirt.

Holland released the following additional information to reporters Tuesday afternoon:

- The passenger in the vehicle fired two shots at Eubanks. The passenger reached behind the driver's seat to get the weapon used;

- The reason for the traffic stop was that the vehicle had no license plates;

- Police are working on a list of Geo Trackers in the area to look for matches with the suspect vehicle;

- A witness who saw the shooting has some idea what happened.

Information is being gathered at this time, and the suspects' current whereabouts are unknown. The public is advised that they should be considered armed and dangerous.

In a press release, Holland advised the public not to try to apprehend the suspects themselves, but to contact local law enforcement.

"We have numerous agencies assisting us with this on-going investigation (including) Tuscarawas County Sheriff Office, Coshocton County Sheriff Office, Guernsey County Sheriff Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol," the chief said.

"We've been looking all over because we're not sure of where or what," Holland said. "At this point in time, we're still in a search for a Geo Tracker.

There are still two suspects out there somewhere."

Holland was investigating the scene of the shooting with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation on Tuesday afternoon. BCI agents used a three-dimensional scanner to take 360-degree photos of the crime scene.

Holland said a person of interest, a 28-year-old former Newcomerstown man, was questioned, released and is not considered a suspect.

Campbell said the incident is being investigated jointly by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office and the Newcomerstown Police.

He said law enforcement conducted searches of house and roads in Tuscarawas, Guernsey and Coshocton counties. "This is a multi-county agency investigation," he said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Newcomerstown Police Department at 740-498-6161.

The Daily Jeffersonian contributed to this report.

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©2017 The Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia, Ohio

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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