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Officer Involved Shooting 911 Calls, Radio Transmissions Released
FAIRFIELD, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Radio transmissions and 911 calls released by Fairfield Police Tuesday shed a little more light on the shooting death of a 23-year-old man by a police officer.
Police identified the officer as Scott Conklin, a 15-year police veteran. Conklin worked for five years at the Cincinnati Police Dept. before his tenure in Fairfield.
The confrontation between Caleb Surface and Scott Conklin started Saturday night shortly before 8 p.m. Caleb Surface's father, Jeff, called 911 to report his son was breaking into his house.
Jeff Surface: "Get out of here! You're going to have send somebody pretty quick man. He's out of control."
Dispatcher: "Sir, they're on their way."
The 911 call captured part of an argument between Jeff Surface and his son. Caleb had been told to leave the house.
Jeff Surface: "Yeah, he's in his room."
Jeff Surface: "I just tried to open the door. He has a knife or something. I almost had to shoot him."
Jeff Surface believed his son was "on something." Caleb left the house and police started to look for him when they arrived.
"The subject that we're looking for is also potentially suicidal. He was asking to be shot and then he began to try to cut his wrists," one officer said on the radio transmissions.
A woman who lived on Polo Woods Ct. called 911 and said a man matching Caleb's description knocked on her door and appeared to be crying. He said that he was homeless.
Officer Conklin caught up with Caleb on St. Andrews Ct. nearby.
"Yeah, 2028 St. Andrews. I got him at gunpoint. He's claiming to have a firearm on him," Conklin told a dispatcher.
About 10 seconds later, Conklin called for help. Police have not said whether Surface was armed.
Officer Conklin: "Shots fired."
Dispatcher: "Shots fired, 2028 St. Andrews Ct."
Caleb Surface's family said he had struggled with chemical dependency. He also had a criminal record.
Officer Conklin's personnel file includes some commendations. A superior wrote, "Officer Conklin is an experienced and knowledgeable officer who can be extremely beneficial to the department when he applies himself to his work." But over the last year his work had suffered because of personal problems.
Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey wanted to fire Conklin last November. He'd been reprimanded for taking excessive sick time, failing to show up for court once and not following up on investigations. But a memo in Conklin's file said an agreement had been reached between the union and the city which allowed Conklin to keep his job.
It's not clear whether his issues contributed to Saturday night's shooting.
Officer Conklin is on a standard administrative leave.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the shooting probe. Agency officials will not comment. BCI's findings will be presented to a Grand Jury.