Three audio recordings of the 911 calls that were made in the moments before Uniontown Police Sgt. David White was shot Sunday have been obtained by The Canton Repository.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday released audio recordings of three distraught phone calls made to 911 in the moments before Uniontown Police Sgt. David White was shot Sunday.
In one of the recordings, a man who lives at 11599 Lela Ave. NW asks a dispatcher to send an officer to the home. He said what had been a verbal dispute between him and a man later identified as Ryan A. Probst was becoming physical.
“He also has a gun and he’s threatening to kill himself,” said the man, who said he was standing in the backyard of the home but his wife, a 3-year-old child and Probst's wife remained inside.
“Please be careful,” he told the dispatcher.
The dispatcher warned the man not to go back into the home, but the man can be heard telling a woman to get the baby out of the house.
“He’s on the landing now with a gun in his hand,” the man tells the dispatcher.
The caller then yells out, “Don’t Ryan. Don’t do that. Put that gun down. Put that gun down, Ryan, please. Please, put it down.”
A man’s voice can be heard in the background, “You call the cops?”
Then the caller begins to curse and yells, “He shot me. … I think it was a blank.”
The caller then says the Uniontown officers just arrived and tells the dispatcher, “He’s got a gun. It’s just blanks. It’s blanks, man. … Try to tell them it’s blanks.”
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation continue to investigate what happened next, but authorities have said that White and a second Uniontown police officer exchanged gunfire with Probst. White, a 25-year police veteran, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and Probst, 28, was killed. The shootings occurred around 10:15 p.m.
Sheriff George Maier said Wednesday the male caller, whom he identified as Probst's grandfather who had raised and adopted Probst, was mistaken when he thought Probst had fired a blank at him. Maier said Probst's shot had missed the man. He said investigators recovered the bullet from a wall.
“The audio tapes are very telling that there was a violent situation going on at the home and people were fearing for their lives,” Maier said.
A woman who also lived at the home and who had called 911 told the emergency dispatcher that the disturbance started when her father went downstairs to check on why her sister-in-law was crying and her brother began yelling. She said her sister-in-law had said Probst punched her in the face, according to one of the audio recordings. The woman also told the dispatcher that officers have been to their home before.
Sgt. White underwent an additional surgery Tuesday night and was “doing well and stable” following the procedure at an Akron hospital, according to messages posted on the Uniontown Police Department’s Facebook page Tuesday evening.
The other Uniontown officer who fired the fatal gunshot at Probst has been placed on administrative leave by Lake Township trustees, which is customary while an officer-involved shooting investigation is pending. The second officer’s name has not been publicly released.
The audio recordings were obtained by The Canton Repository through a public records request to the Sheriff’s Office, which was asked by the Uniontown Police Department to handle the investigation.
Reach Kelli at 330-580-8339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @kweirREP