How officers are trained to pull the trigger

Dayton officer involved shooting at First and Euclid in Dayton. (WDTN Photo/Josh Ames)
Dayton officer involved shooting at First and Euclid in Dayton. (WDTN Photo/Josh Ames)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Investigators are still looking into an officer involved shooting, but one man who trains police officers for a living believes the officer in question acted properly.

“That officer had to make a split second decision that others will have years, months, weeks to evaluate,” says Wesley Armstrong with the Clark State Police Academy. “He doesn’t have that luxury of that time.”

Police say the suspect, 22-year-old Antwan Zackary Junior, appeared to be hiding something in his shorts as he crossed West First Street Wednesday, but when they went to ask him about it he ran before stopping and pulling a semi-automatic pistol from his pants.

That’s when Officer Jason Rhodes fired one shot hitting Zackary in the leg.

“Our reaction to firearms is always a reaction to what the suspect does,” Armstrong says. “We have to react to what they do.”

Rhodes is a six year veteran of the Dayton Police Department. We looked into his file.

We found in his evaluation he met or exceeded all the standards. He was specifically praised for exhibiting excellent tactics and judgement during dangerous situations.

He did have one reprimand for having two dirty weapons.

Certificates show he’s completed several firearms instructor classes.

Armstrong says officers are trained using simulators to handle situations where a suspect pulls a gun.

He tells us officers aren’t just trying to wound a suspect either when they open fire.

“They’re trying to stop the threat,” Armstrong says. “They shoot at center body mass.”

We found Zackary was in trouble once before for having a gun.

He was convicted of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle in Greene County for a 2011 incident.

According to Dayton court records he also has two active warrants for cases involving traffic violations. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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