Coroner: Bullet traveled through Dontez O'Neal shot by police - News, Weather & Sports

Coroner: Bullet traveled through suspect shot by police


Cincinnati Police shot and killed 19-year-old Dontez O'Neal last Wednesday night when an undercover drug sting went bad.

Tuesday, the Hamilton County Coroner released details of exactly how O'Neal died.

Ultimately, it was one bullet that killed him in a very unusual way.

"It actually penetrated the heart and traveled through the aorta and into the pelvis and lodged into an artery in the pelvis," said Lakshmi Sammarco, M.D. "It's very unusual. It punctured through a chamber in the heart and had to pass through two valves to travel that far."   

Also Cincinnati's Police Chief talked about the incident for the first time since the holiday weekend.

One subject he addressed was why the in-car camera, which many police cruisers have, didn't work properly.

"We know that it wasn't an intentional effort on the part of the officer to shut the camera off, because we have ways of checking back and making that determination. That did not happen. So what we have is a malfunction," said Chief James Craig. "Even if the camera had been operating at the time of the officer involved shooting situation, it would not have captured the shooting. Many times when the camera's operational, there's a power surge and the camera becomes non-operable. We don't know why, but we do know some of our cameras are aging."

One suspect is still on the loose, and a $5,000 reward has been offered by the Cincinnati Police to anyone who has information that leads to an arrest.

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