TOLEDO -- Toledo Police now have filed a charge of aggravated murder with a gun specification for the death of a vice detective. Just before noon, Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates announced the charge against Robert Jobe, 15, for the homicide of Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel. The prosecutor's office has also filed a motion requesting that Jobe be certified to be tried as an adult for his alleged criminal conduct.
Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel was killed by a single bullet to the chest after a confrontation in north Toledo. Police Chief Mike Navarre says Dressel and two other undercover officers stopped two people on Ontario Street around 2:00am Wednesday. When the officers identified themselves as police, the two suspects ran.
Officer Todd Miller and Detective William Bragg were able to run after 19-year-old Sherman Powell, and take him into custody. Dressel ran after Jobe, confronted him, and exchanged gunfire. Dressel was hit with the fatal shot. Jobe was not wounded.
"When Detective Dressel came up to Robert Jobe, he grabbed onto his clothing. [There was a] brief struggle. Jobe pulled a gun out, and shot Detective Dressel at very close range," said Navarre.
In a news conference on Thursday, Navarre said the gun used in the killing was recovered on the grounds of the Willis B. Boyer ship museum in east Toledo around 6:30 on Wednesday night. It was one of many new facts to emerge about the case.
Navarre said officers recovered the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver that was fully loaded. Nararre says the suspect, 15-year-old Robert Jobe gave the weapon to another person who ditched it near the Boyer museum. That person is now a "cooperating witness" who led police to the gun. Navarre did not know if charges would be filed against that witness.
There's still no word on who owns the gun. It's now on its way to a Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab for testing.
Navarre reiterated his thoughts that Dressel was a hero. He and the other undercover officers he was working with were traveling in a Suburban when the encountered the two teens on Ontario. He said undercover officers often go without bullet-resistant vests, because that would easily give away their cover.
The chief said the department will revisit its policy that allows officers to go without extra bullet-resistant clothing. But he said if there's some piece of clothing like a jean jacket out there that could provide an extra measure of protection to his officers, then the department will buy it. Navarre says the department will spare no expense.
Dressel was first hired as a Toledo Police officer in 1993. Police Chief Mike Navarre says his current assignment was in the vice/narcotics bureau. Navarre says he also worked in field operations and communications. His personnel file says he was commended for bravery in 1998, when he ran into a burning building on Bancroft, and helped save an elderly man from the fire.
Dressel is survived by his wife and two children, ages 6 and 4.
The last time a Toledo Police officer was killed in the line of duty was September, 18, 1970. Patrolman William Miscannon was shot and killed during a turbulent time in Toledo when race relations were very strained. Miscannon was just 33-years-old and the father of four.
A suspect was arrested for Miscannon's murder, and he went on trial twice, but each time the case ended with a hung jury.
Navarre says the outpouring of support for the family and the department has been overwhelming. He expects 2,000 officers or more to attend Dressel's funeral on Monday.
The web site Ohio's Fallen Officers says a total of 31 police officers have been killed in the line of duty in the city of Toledo. Dressel's death would make the total 32. The site says Ohio ranks 5th in the nation for deaths in the line of duty.