Kettering man killed by police was shot in chest, under investigation

Officers were called around 10 p.m. Sunday to the 2100 block of Gay Drive by a woman who said 68-year-old James Tober Sr. was yelling at her while possibly having a mental health episode. The woman said she was hiding and needed help, and that he had a gun.

Kettering chief: Evidence so far points to justified shooting

“I told him that if he didn’t stop yelling at me I was going to call the police … and he went and got the gun and he said, ‘I’ll be waiting for them,’” the woman said in the 911 call.

When officers arrived, Kettering Police Chief Christopher Protsman said they found Tober, a white man, with a gun in the road and that he ignored orders to drop his weapon. Officers and Tober exchanged gunfire.

Protsman said his department is performing two separate investigations — one criminal and one internal — to determine whether the shooting, ruled a homicide by the coroner’s office, was justified. Officers can be heard on cruiser dash camera video telling a man to put down his weapon before gunshots are heard.

Tober had a handgun during the incident, Protsman said, but the chief declined to give specifics about the type of gun.



The chief said so far the evidence indicates to him that the officers acted properly. Police didn’t release any new information Tuesday or respond to public records requests from the Dayton Daily News.

RELATED: Chief: Man killed in officer-involved shooting fired at police, ignored commands to drop gun

The Gay Drive shooting is the first officer-involved one in Kettering since June 2018. Before then, the department had three separate officer-involved shootings between August 2017 and the one in June 2018.

The officers involved in all of those shootings were cleared by a Montgomery County grand jury and did not face charges. Kettering police said the officers did not face disciplinary action.

A review of a background check by the Dayton Daily News shows Tober had little criminal history. He was cited multiple times in minor traffic-related incidents including speed and following too close, a background check says, but there was no indication of any violent criminal history.

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