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Man dead after being shot during drug raid

A man died after being shot on Tuesday by officers from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office during the execution of a search warrant at a local residence.

About 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force executed the search warrant at 456 Township Road 256 in Kitts Hill.

Upon entering the residence officers were confronted by the suspect who pointed a long gun at the officers, according to a press release from Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

“Officers repeatedly announced who they were and ordered the suspect to put the weapon down,” according to the press release. “He refused to do so and then put the weapon into a shooting position, at which point one of the officers shot the suspect in the upper torso.”

An officer on the task force who has medical training, according to the press release, provided medical aid. The Lawrence County EMS arrived on the scene and assessed the suspect and the Lawrence County Coroner arrived a short time later and pronounced the suspect dead.

“The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been contacted and will be conducting a complete investigation,” it said in the release. “As per protocol, the officer in question has been placed on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of the investigation.”

At this time all the information and evidence indicate this shooting was justified,” Lawless said. “The officers were confronted by a man pointing a rifle at them and they feared for their lives.”

According to the press release, the task force has been investigating drug activity at this residence for more than 30 days and has made several buys of Oxycodone from the suspect. It is believed that the suspect lived alone and was alone in the residence when the incident occurred.

No names are being released at this time pending notification of family members.