NEWCOMERSTOWN, OH (WCMH) – The Tuscarawas County Sheriff said a Newcomerstown police officer made up a story about being shot last week.
Officer Bryan Eubanks originally said he was investigating a meth lab operating out of a Geo Tracker. He said the suspects shot him in the arm and drove off.
“I think he was shooting to kill me because the gun was originally pointed at my face and I moved and that’s how I got shot in the arm but yeah he was trying to kill me,” Eubanks told NBC4 after the incident, which triggered an Ohio Blue Alert and a manhunt for the two suspects.
But now, investigators say Eubanks made up the story after he shot himself in a failed suicide attempt.
Police Chief Gary Holland said she understand everyone’s frustrations with this case. In a one on one interview with NBC4 he said a lot of resources were used in the search supposed gunman. The FBI, BCI, and marshals all on the ground looking for someone that never really existed.
“Disappointed. I guess would probably be the correct term. Disappointed,” said chief Holland.
In terms of the initial investigation in the officer involved shooting, chief Holland said there were discrepancies in Eubanks’ story, and timelines were not adding up just to name a couple of things.
Eubanks is now fired from the department, but chief Holland said he can’t help but have compassion for an officer that developed mental issues following an unrelated murder investigation. He said he doesn’t believe this incident shines a negative light on his department.
“I don’t think it does at all. What we have to understand, this particular officer is no different form you or anyone else in this society. He’s suffering from human frailties,” said chief Holland.
The officer is expected to be charged, but no other details have been released.
According to officials, Eubanks was fired from the Newcomerstown Police Department on Tuesday.