By Tom Corrigan
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has released a detailed narrative of what led to the deaths of two men in Piketon during an alleged altercation with police early Wednesday afternoon.
A press release from Franklin County Public Information Officer Marc Gofstein reads in part that on June 13, Pike County Sheriff Charlie Reader requested the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team to assist with a barricade situation at 919 Wynn Rd.
The address is considered a Piketon address, but is actually outside the Village of Piketon.
Pike County Deputies had attempted to execute arrest warrants for David Brian Arthur, age 44. Following a series of events at the scene, including an exchange of weapons fire, both David Arthur and Barry Leeth, age 56, were fatally wounded.
At approximately 12:30 p.m., five members of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office went to the residence of Arthur to execute arrest warrants on charges of aggravated trafficking of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, failure to comply with officer’s orders, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Thursday, Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk said deputies obtained a search warrant in addition to the arrest warrant because the initial warrant did not list the address at which Arthur was located.
Gofstein picked up the narrative stating at approximately 1:16 p.m., Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) SWAT was dispatched to Pike County. During this time, Pike County Deputies attempted to negotiate with Arthur to surrender but were unsuccessful.
Upon arrival, FCSO negotiators continued the attempts to compel Arthur to surrender, to no avail. FCSO SWAT opted to deploy chemical munitions while negotiations continued. Once chemical munitions were introduced, weapons fire from inside of the home began and shots were exchanged with FCSO SWAT deputies.
At approximately 6:02 p.m., entry points were breached and FCSO SWAT successfully made entry into the residence, to attempt to take Arthur into custody. Ultimately, Arthur was located and presented an assault rifle, with both a 12-gauge shotgun and handgun within his reach. At approximately 6:09 p.m., Arthur was fatally wounded.
Junk had stated earlier that the “deceased (Arthur) opened fire, deputies returned fire and killed him.” Junk declined to release the name of the second victim later identified by Gofstein as Leeth.
At approximately 6:14 p.m., deputies discovered Leeth, who had been fatally wounded.
At the request of Sheriff Reader, both the Franklin County Detective Bureau and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) will continue to investigate the case. Jill Del Greco, BCI public information officer, stated her office had been called in to process the crime scene. She also confirmed the incident was an officer involved shooting but said she had no further details.