Wed. 9:52 a.m.: Chief: Warren officer tried to cover up why he fired his gun
WARREN — The Warren off-duty police officer who claimed he was shot at during a disabled vehicle check last week was trying to cover up why he really fired three shots from his service weapon, investigators said.
Noah Linnen, 23, who turned himself into the Howland Police Department Tuesday, appeared this morning in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on a variety of charges, including tampering with evidence, inducing panic, disrupting public services and falsification. He was assigned a $10,000 cash or surety bond and set to return on Feb. 20 for a pretrial.
Howland police Chief Nick Roberts said during a news conference a few minutes ago that Linnen told four versions of the events.
Linnen’s main claim was that he was traveling south on Pine Avenue when he noticed what he believed was a disabled vehicle black SUV. Linnen said as he approached the vehicle, a black man pulled out a silver revolver and shot toward him. Linnen said he was not wearing a bulletproof vest.
Roberts said that police used surveillance camera footage from businesses and residences in the area and determined that there no vehicle or man matching the descriptions were at the site at the time shots were fired.
When police confronted him with the evidence, Linnen broke down, the chief said. Linnen then told them that he had stopped on Pine Avenue to use his cellphone and saw a car that was heading his direction cross the center line. He said he fired three rounds through his door at the passing car.
He was unable to give a description of the car or driver, Roberts said.
The chief said Linnen told them he panicked and feared he’d be in trouble for firing his service revolver. He used his backup weapon and fired two shots in his own direction with his left hand, grazing the shoulder of his jacket with one of the shots, Roberts said.
He threw that gun on the ground, then drove further south on Pine Street before calling in the shooting as an attempted robbery, Roberts said.