By Will E Sanders
TROY — A Troy family that had their home and three vehicles riddled with bullets during a fatal Dec. 29 police shootout will have the cost of their homeowners insurance deductible covered by the local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, the lodge’s vice president said Thursday.
Billie Ray, vice president of F.O.P. Lodge 58, said since the city of Troy and their insurance provider could not assist the Armstrong family with the damages that were caused to their home and three vehicles that the lodge decided to vote to pay the family’s $1,000 insurance deductible.
Because the government is afforded “sovereign immunity” in instances where government employees are not the cause of damage, in addition to other legal reasons, payment for the extensive damages caused to the Armstrong family’s residence and property could not be made by the city of Troy.
Ray said the $1,000 does not make the Armstrong family “whole from the loss of two vehicles and damage to a third vehicle,” in addition to damage done to their residence, but the lodge “felt it was important that the Armstrong family have some financial support.”
“The law enforcement community does care and always strives to do the right thing,” said Ray, who added he and fellow law enforcement members will work to expand the Ohio Attorney General’s victims of crime compensation fund to include the loss of physical property in similar situations.
Ray also applauded the efforts of the officers involved in the Dec. 29 shootout.
“All of the officers who responded to the shooting call that night acted heroically and courageously and ended a violent and deadly situation that tragically ended in death due to the actions of the decedent,” Ray said.
Troy police Sgt. Jeff Kunkleman, Troy police officers Jesse Canan and Jared Cole, and sheriff’s deputy Will Roberts were all involved in the shootout, but only Kunkleman was shot as a result. Kunkleman sustained a bullet to the leg, but the police sergeant has since recovered from the wound.
All four members of law enforcement were placed on paid administrative leave following the shootout, but since all four officers have either resumed their duties or have been cleared to return to work.
The officer-involved fatal shooting, the second to transpire in the city of Troy in a four-month period, was investigated by members from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office presented the case to a Miami County grand jury last week. The grand jury found all of the officers acted accordingly and were not at fault for the death of Franklin Jones III, 30, of Troy.
Jones was shot and killed in front of the Armstrong family’s Monroe Street home after Jones had previously shot another victim, who survived, before the four officers got into the shootout with Jones.
No members of the Armstrong family were injured as a result of the shootout.
Lodge 58 is comprised of members of all Miami County law enforcement agencies.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.