Probation officer shot, suspect killed

Grandfather led pair of probation officers to suspect's upstairs bedroom, where fatal struggle took place.
TNS Regional News
Jul 11, 2014

 

A man was killed and a probation officer was shot in a struggle for a gun in an East Side condominium this morning.

Two Franklin County probation officers went to 2850 Petzinger Rd. to revoke the probation of Tyshawn Hancock, 37, around 9:30, said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman.

Both probation officers, who were armed, were let into the house by Hancock’s grandfather, Weiner said. They went upstairs, where Hancock was in a small bedroom.

When they approached the room, Hancock dove for a gun and one of the probation officers, Jonathan D. Farnsworth, fought Hancock for the weapon. In the struggle, Farnsworth was shot in the torso before returning fire.

“Nothing led them to believe anything was going to happen,” Weiner said.

Farnsworth’s partner, who has not been identified, called Columbus police to report the shooting. Both Farnsworth and Hancock were taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, where Hancock was pronounced dead at 10:11 a.m.

Farnsworth, 45, who has worked for the county since 2004, is in serious condition after undergoing surgery.

Court records show that Hancock was indicted only once in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, in connection with a May 6, 2012 aggravated assault.

His lawyer initially argued that Hancock should not stand trial because he was not able to aid in his own defense, but Hancock eventually was deemed competent and pleaded guilty on Feb. 19 to the lesser offense of attempted aggravated assault.

Hancock was sentenced on April 23, when Judge Charles A. Schneider placed him on a year of probation and ordered him to pay $3,445.48 restitution. The sentence was recommended by defense attorney Michael H. Siewert and Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Murnane.

Neighbors said Hancock had lived with his grandparents in the townhome for almost a decade and that there were no problems. In addition to his grandparents, two children, 8 and 3 years old, also were in the house when the shooting occurred, Weiner said.

Two guns were recovered, Weiner said. The second probation officer, who was interviewed by Columbus police, was unhurt.

Craig Berry, president of the Ohio Chief Probation Officers Association, said the shooting underscores the risk faced by Ohio's more than 1,500 probation officers, especially when they are conducting home visits.

He could not recall another shooting of a probation officer in Ohio.

“Our association’s prayers and thoughts go out the officer and his family,” Berry said.

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By Allison Manning & Theodore Decker - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

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