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Prosecutor: Officers use of deadly force in standoff "appropriate"

SOUTH LEBANON, Ohio (WKRC) -- Warren County's prosecutor said the SWAT team's actions in the shooting death of a South Lebanon man was appropriate.

Deputies went to the home of Gary Cook on April 21, to serve a protection order that had been filed by his family members. His family had moved out of the home on Lebanon Road because they said he had made threats.

According to the prosecutor's office, Cook put on a bullet-proof vest, grabbed a shotgun and threatened the deputies. SWAT officers had to be called in because the original deputies were "trapped in their initial positions," according to a release by Prosecutor David Fornshell.

During the nearly two-hour standoff, the prosecutor's office said Cook took a "firing stance" towards members of the SWAT team. They fired five shots at Cook, hitting him twice.

According to the release, Cook's shotgun had a one round in the chamber and one round in the magazine. His blood alcohol content was .257. There were anti-depressant drugs, morphine and oxycodone in his system.

"Based upon my review of the reports of the investigation, as well as the statements of numerous witnesses, I believe that the officers acted appropriately under the circumstances. Their use of deadly force was in response to the actions of Cook which placed these officers, and others, in immediate danger of death or serious physical harm. I do not believe there is any evidence of criminal conduct or the criminal use of force on the part of anybody other than Warren Gary Cook," Fornshell said in a press release.

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