Ohio judge ruled hospital gunman incompetent in 2016
CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio judge last year ordered treatment in a state mental hospital for the gunman who this week wounded a security officer at a psychiatric emergency room before killing himself.
Isaiah Currie was confined temporarily in a hospital in 2016 and ordered to take medication after his arrest in 2015 for assaulting a University of Cincinnati Health security officer, court records show. Wednesday’s shooting also involved a UC Health security officer, whose identity hasn’t been released.
A 2015 police report said Currie was a patient at another UC Health facility, but it didn’t say what he was treated for. The officer suffered a knee injury “struggling with a combative patient,” it stated.
Currie pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and Hamilton County Municipal Judge Heather Russell in July 2016 ruled him incompetent to stand trial and ordered him into treatment at the Summit behavioral health hospital in the Cincinnati area. He was later sentenced to time served and put on probation on Nov. 2, 2016.
One year later to the day, Currie was accused of firing a semi-automatic rifle into a public park, wounding a man. A grand jury declined to indict him in that case.
A grand jury did, however, indict him in a Nov. 12 case on charges of assaulting a corrections officer and obstructing official business. Court documents show a Hamilton County deputy said he opened Currie’s cell door to give him his dinner, and Currie charged him, punched him in the face, and then tried to throw him over a railing. Two other officers helped subdue Currie, they said in their statements.
Court records show Currie, 20, was released on $75,000 bond last week in that case. Court records also showed his probation was revoked Nov. 30 in the 2015 case.
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac has said police haven’t established a motive for Currie’s charge into the psychiatric services emergency area carrying two handguns and firing at the security officer. The officer’s name or condition hasn’t been released.
The attorney who had been representing Currie in the jail assault case called the shootings “tragic.”
Attorney M.J. Hugan said she knew Currie had a mental health history but that he seemed stable and coherent when she saw him recently at the Hamilton County Justice Center. She said a corrections officer told her jail staffers hadn’t had any problems with him other than the alleged assault.
She said Currie’s family is devastated by his death and concerned about the wounded security officer.
“Something went terribly wrong,” Hugan said.
Eric Wandersleben, a spokesman for Ohio’s department of mental health, said privacy laws don’t allow comment on any patient, past or present.
This story has been corrected to show the judge’s ruling was in 2016, not two years ago.
Associated Press reporter Lisa Cornwell contributed in Cincinnati.
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