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Warren officer placed on paid leave

Chief: Man shaken up but OK after exchanging gunfire

WARREN — The off-duty police officer who was shot at when he stopped on Pine Avenue to check on a black SUV that appeared to be disabled has been placed on five days paid administrative leave, according to Warren police Chief Eric Merkel.

Noah Linnen, 23, who has worked at the department for nearly two years, was shaken up after being shot at Monday evening by someone in a dark-colored SUV stopped on the road between Burton Street and DeForest Avenue.

“He is doing OK,” Merkel said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the shooting and its aftermath. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation of the police-involved shooting, Howland is investigating the shooting’s aftermath because it occurred in Howland, and Warren is conducting its own internal investigation, per its use-of-force policy.

No suspects have been identified in the shooting, according to Howland police Chief Nick Roberts.

Linnen was traveling south on Pine Avenue when he noticed what he believed was a disabled vehicle.

“As a police officer, you always want to help others,” Merkel said. “When you see someone else’s car on the road, especially over in that area, and it is getting dark, you want to help.”

As the officer approached the vehicle, someone pulled out a silver revolver and shot toward him. Linnen was not wearing a bulletproof vest.

When he called for help, Linnen believed he had been shot.

“It was when he was being taken to the hospital that it was determined he had not been,” Merkel said. “It was confirmed when he arrived at the hospital.”

Warren Safety Service Director Eddie Colbert said it is “only by the grace of God” that Linnen was not injured or killed.

“The department will have the resources it needs whenever there is a shooting involving any Warren resident,” Colbert said.

The shooter was described as wearing dark pants, a dark shirt and a hoodie, according to a Trumbull County 911 description.

During his initial call to Trumbull County 911, dispatchers were told Linnen had been shot two times. Merkel said the officer may have been suffering from a high dose of adrenaline when he reported being shot.

Linnen exchanged gunfire with the suspect. There were multiple bullet holes in Linnen’s vehicle, the police report states.

During the investigation of the shooting, a Warren police officer followed a dark-colored SUV traveling on Deforest Road SE that eventually went to an apartment complex on Mauro Circle, which is near North Road in Howland.

Several dozen police vehicles from Warren, Niles, the FBI, the Trumbull County Sherif’s Office and the Trumbull County Violent Crimes Task Force surrounded the apartment.

After questioning the occupants of the vehicle, it was determined they did not have anything to do with the shooting, Roberts said.

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