TIPP CITY — The Tipp City police officer who fired at a suspect after being threatened with what turned out to be a fake handgun in an incident last week was identified on Wednesday. The suspect was also allegedly trying “to commit ‘suicide by cop.’”
Officer Brad Kline of the Tipp City Police Department was identified as the officer who “engaged the suspect who pointed a gun at him multiple times” and later “fired one round at the suspect” during an incident on March 5, according to a press release from the Tipp City Police Department on Wednesday. The suspect was not hit. The suspect’s weapon was later found to be a toy gun painted black.
Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell also cleared Kline of any criminal charges, stating in a letter that Kline “was justified in all respects when he discharged his weapon.” Kendell also said Kline “acted in a manner consistent with his training, and is a credit to the Miami County law enforcement community.” Kline remains on administrative leave until the internal investigation is complete.
Also in his letter, Kendell states he and his first assistant reviewed all of the materials in the case file, including the defendant’s confession, which Kendell said it “essentially states” the suspect’s “intention to commit ‘suicide by cop.’” Kendell also referenced video footage of the incident where the suspect is seen raising and pointing a gun at Kline in “no less than six separate and distinct times.”
Lucy M. Lehnsherr, 29, of Tipp City, was charged with fifth-degree felony aggravated menacing and first-degree misdemeanor making false alarms in connection with this incident. Lehnsherr is continuing to be held in the Miami County Jail on a total bond of $60,000. A preliminary hearing for Lehnsherr is currently scheduled for March 19.
The incident began at approximately 1 a.m. March 5, after Tipp City police responded to a report of a female subject inside Tony’s Bada Bing on the 100 block of East Main Street “loading a handgun.” According to a previous press release from the Tipp City Police Department, the caller reported the woman “was highly upset and put the handgun into her purse” and was walking toward the interstate.
Tipp City police officers responded to the area, where Kline located the suspect, who then pointed a handgun at him, in the area of First and Second streets. According to previous reports, the officer “made several attempts to talk to the female and order her to drop the weapon.” The woman did not respond to the officer’s orders and fled to a “hiding spot” in the area of South Second Street.
“The suspect, who was still holding the gun, made a quick movement,” which was when Kline fired his service weapon once at the suspect. The suspect was not hit, and she dropped the weapon.
The suspect was detained without injury, and she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. A toy handgun painted black was located at the scene.