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Thomas v. City of Columbus

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

April 19, 2017

William Thomas, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
City of Columbus, Ohio; Kimberley Jacobs; William T. Kaufman, Defendants-Appellees.

          Argued: December 9, 2016

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Columbus. No. 2:14-cv-00906-Gregory L. Frost, District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Nicholas A. DiCello, SPANGENBERG, SHIBLEY & LIBER, LLP, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Timothy J. Mangan, CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellees.

         ON BRIEF:

          Nicholas A. DiCello, Jeremy A. Tor, SPANGENBERG, SHIBLEY & LIBER, LLP, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Timothy J. Mangan, Janet R. Hill Arbogast, CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellees.

          Before: McKEAGUE, GRIFFIN, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge.

         This case primarily concerns an officer's decision to fire his weapon. Specifically, whether that decision was reasonable when an apparent suspect exited an ongoing burglary 40 feet away from the officer and then ran towards the officer with a gun. For the following reasons, we hold that it was and that the district court properly granted summary judgment to the defendants on the remaining claims. Thus, we affirm.

         I

         In 2012, Destin Thomas lived in an apartment complex near Columbus, Ohio. His front door opened to a breezeway. On one end, the breezeway led to a parking lot that Destin's building shared with the others in the complex. On the other end, it led to a grassy area that separated Destin's building from other developments and a nearby road.

         At around 8:45 a.m. on a July morning, two men broke through Destin's front door. Destin called 911 from inside his bedroom and spoke quietly to avoid drawing the burglars' attention. After a few minutes, however, the men ...


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