Suspect Accused Of Fatally ShootingTwinsburg Officer May Claim Self-Defense - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Suspect Accused Of Fatally ShootingTwinsburg Officer May Claim Self-Defense

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Officer Joshua Miktarian Officer Joshua Miktarian
Murder Suspect: Ashford Thompson Murder Suspect: Ashford Thompson

 Twinsburg, OH - A Twinsburg Police Officer gunned down in the line of duty early Sunday morning.

Now - in a stunning development - the alleged triggerman is claiming self-defense as a reason behind the violence.

The fatal shooting of Officer Joshua Miktarian happened around 2AM on Route 91 at Glenwood during a traffic stop.

Miktarian and his canine partner were called out to search an area when they made a traffic stop along the way.

Officer Miktarian pulled over 23-year-old Ashford Thompson and called for back-up once he pulled over the vehicle. When back-up arrived, officers found the 33-year-old officer on the road with multiple gunshot wounds to the head, his gun still in his holster and his K-9 in the cruiser.

The coroner tells 19 Action News the Officer was struck four times in the head at close range.

About an hour after the shooting occurred, police and SWAT crews surrounded Thompson's sister's home in Bedford Heights and took him into custody.

19 Action News has learned Thompson was still wearing handcuffs around one of his wrists when he was found at his sister's house. 

Thompson made his first court appearance Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to the officer's murder.

Thompson's attorney - Larry Zuckerman - brought up the issue of self-defense during the arraignment but would not elaborate when questioned by 19 Action News.

A judge slapped a $5M dollar bond on Thompson.

Officer Joshua Miktarian joined the force in 1997 and leaves behind a 3-month-old daughter and his Oakwood Police Officer wife, Holly.

The 33-year-old Twinsburg Police Officer was also a part-time Police Officer in Uniontown, owner of the Gionino's Pizza Place in Sagamore Hills, and was also a guitarist in the Akron based rock band "Barium."

Hundreds gathered during a Sunday evening vigil for the fallen hero. Police officer's wives are planning another candlelight for tonight at 9PM in Twinsburg,

Donations for Officer Miktarian will be accepted by the Twinsburg Police Association.

   Shooting Location: Route 91 and Glenwood




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