Newspaper photographer shot by Clark County deputy files lawsuit

Newspaper photographer shot by Clark County deputy files lawsuit (WKEF/WRGT File Photo)

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) – A journalist who was shot by a deputy while photographing a traffic stop in New Carlisle has filed a lawsuit against that deputy, the Board of County Commissioners for Clark County and the city of New Carlisle.

The lawsuit lists Andy Grimm, his wife Melanie Grimm and KBA News, LLC, as the plaintiffs against the city, the county Board of Commissioners and Deputy Jake Shaw with seven claims for relief. They are:

  • Andy Grimm against Deputy Shaw for excessive force in violation of the Fourth and/or Fourteenth Amendment
  • Andy Grimm against Clark County, Ohio, and the City of New Carlisle for ‘Failure to Hire, Train, and Supervise and for Customs, Policies, and Practices Causing Violations of the Fourth Amendment’
  • Andy Grimm against Deputy Shaw, Clark County and New Carlisle for common law assault and battery
  • Andy and Melanie Grimm against Deputy Shaw, Clark County and New Carlisle for common law intentional infliction of emotional distress claims
  • Melanie Grimm against Deputy Shaw, Clark County and New Carlisle for loss of consortium
  • Andy Grimm against Deputy Shaw, Clark County and New Carlisle for lost wages
  • KBA News, LLC (commonly known as New Carlisle News) against Deputy Shaw and Clark County for claim of intentional interference with contractual relations

According to the lawsuit, Deputy Shaw shot Grimm ‘inexplicably’. It was filed seeking more than $75,000, exclusive of interests and costs, for money damages for injuries sustained by Grimm.

Under the statement of facts, the lawsuit said Deputy Shaw was servicing in his official capacity as a Clark County deputy during all relevant times. He was on patrol and was carrying a handgun as a service weapon during these times, and was believed to also be wearing body armor.

Deputy Shaw had been conducting a traffic stop on North Main Street around 10:10 p.m. September 4 for a speed violation, and had taken the driver’s license and registration back to his vehicle to verify the information with the emergency lights on.

Grimm, working as owner and photographer for the New Carlisle News, was driving home when he heard about the traffic stop over a scanner, and he stopped to photograph it. The lawsuit said Grimm parked under a street lamp across the street from the stop and parallel to Deputy Shaw’s patrol vehicle. He then reportedly got out, waved at Deputy Shaw and flashed his lights to alert the deputy that he was there.

The statement of facts said Grimm was always in plain view and had press credentials around his neck as he began to set up his equipment to photograph the stop.

Deputy Shaw then fired two shots across his body around 10:15 p.m., reportedly giving no warning prior to discharging his weapon. One bullet went through Grimm’s stomach, while the other grazed his shoulder.

In the lawsuit, it is stated that Shaw intended to shoot at Grimm with the intention of killing or causing serious bodily injury to him. Grimm was only carrying his camera, and according to the document, presented no danger to himself or anyone around him.

Grimm underwent surgery in connection with the bullet wound in his stomach at Miami Valley Hospital just after midnight that evening, and the lawsuit also alleges that the ‘personal medical records of Andy were unlawfully accessed by employees of Premier Health’ while he was there, but why and for whom is unknown.

Since the shooting, the lawsuit alleges that the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has withheld and/or delayed giving information to the New Carlisle News regarding the community they service, which the documents alleged were done in retaliation in reaction to the events.

Grimm has reported injuries which caused him to miss time at his business in connection with the shooting, and said in the lawsuit that he’s had an assortment of symptoms that include headaches, shaking, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and lowered self confidence, as well as feelings of hopelessness, embarrassment, paranoia, helplessness, confusion, fear and nervousness.

He's also reported being anxious when seeing deputies or other law enforcements as a result of the incident, and said his professional career has suffered.

Grimm did not have any of these symptoms or injuries before the shooting, according to the lawsuit.

Melanie Grimm also alleged in the suit that she suffered severe emotional distress.

The lawsuit also said that, ‘On information and belief, the City of New Carlisle or Clark County have not taken any disciplinary action against Defendant Shaw’, and ‘on information and belief, Defendant Shaw was placed back on active duty prior to the results of Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation criminal investigation.’

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