Wife of shooting victim speaks out

Published 10:27 am Friday, September 3, 2010

The wife of a man shot by a Lawrence County Sheriff’s Detective is speaking out after a grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict the officer this week.

Tiffany Stapleton, wife of Johnny Stapleton, contacted The Tribune Thursday morning. Johnny Stapleton, of Ashland, Ky., was shot by Detective Aaron Bollinger June 9 during a traffic stop at North Eighth and Lawrence Streets in Ironton. The bullet went through the car window, striking Johnny Stapleton in the forearm and left cheek.

Stapleton had been indicted on drug charges by a Lawrence County Grand Jury in June.

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Bollinger was exonerated by a grand jury earlier this week.

Tiffany Stapleton was in the car with her husband at the time of the shooting.

“He had to have surgery on his arm and he’ll never talk the same,” she said of his injuries. “He survived so they didn’t do the job they intended to do.

“How it became an accident, I’ll never believe that.”

Tiffany Stapleton said the officer had stopped their vehicle. When Bollinger approached the vehicle he said he was serving a warrant on Johnny Stapleton and told the couple to put their hands up. Their hands were raised when Bollinger fired, she said.

“If they weren’t, my husband wouldn’t have been shot in the forearm,” Tiffany Stapleton said.

Besides surgery on his arm, Tiffany Stapleton said her husband also suffered injuries to his face and tongue. One of his teeth was blown out, as well, she said.

“I mean at the least, I think my husband deserves an apology but he’ll probably never get that,” Tiffany Stapleton said.

Johnny Stapleton is facing charged with trafficking in drugs, illegal manufacturing of drugs, possession of chemicals to manufacture drugs and possession of dangerous drugs, according to records at the Scioto County Jail, where he is still being held. Officials at the jail have denied The Tribune’s request to speak with Stapleton.

Reached Thursday, Bollinger declined to comment. Calls to Sheriff Jeff Lawless were not returned.