Seven-year county police veteran on paid leave after fatal shooting

April 23, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

Howard County Pfc. Thomas Marello is on paid administrative leave pending a police investigation into the fatal shooting of a Dayton man and an evaluation with a department psychologist, police said yesterday.

Officer Marello's name was not released after the shooting Saturday night so he could inform his family before news media reports, said Sgt. Steven Keller, a police spokesman.

The seven-year police veteran is a member of the department's tactical section.

About 10 a.m. Saturday, officers were called to a house in the 5400 block of Ten Oaks Road after a tenant reported that a man shot at him an hour earlier, according to police.

The officers waited outside the house for most of the day, hoping to peacefully serve an arrest warrant on Randy Bruce Pratt, 37, who lived at the house with his parents and the tenant, police said.

When Mr. Pratt came out of the house that evening, he refused to drop his shotgun and raised the weapon at the officers. Officer Marello fired, fatally striking Mr. Pratt in the chest, police said.

By department rules, officers involved in shootings are put on leave. There is a criminal investigation of all shootings, followed by a review of policy and procedure by Internal Affairs. Police Chief James Robey then gives a final review, Sergeant Keller said.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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