Knox County Court of Common Pleas

The Knox County Court of Common Pleas is located at 117 E. High St. in Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON – The Fredericktown officer involved in Knox County's first police shooting since 2014 has been cleared by a Knox County grand jury, according to a press release from the Knox County Prosecutor's Office.

The suspect involved, 38-year-old Darren Price, of Howard, has been indicted on four felony charges.

A Knox County grand jury met in special session Tuesday to hear evidence from the case, which centered around an incident June 17, when Fredericktown Patrolman Josh Jones pulled Price over on Upper Fredericktown-Amity Road for an apparent registration violation.

As Jones approached Price's vehicle, Price appeared to pull a gun on Jones, who immediately retreated and fired several shots. Price then sped off, and Jones followed. The pursuit reached 100 miles per hour at one point, as Jones followed Price through Knox County's northern backroads.

The suspect eventually lost the officer near the Richland County line and the pursuit was terminated. Less than two hours later, Price's vehicle was found abandoned in Richland County.

Price remained at-large for a week. Local and state authorities worked to locate and apprehend him in a North Liberty residence on June 24. He has since been held at the Knox County Jail.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Knox County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation into the officer-involved shooting, then turned over all evidence to the Knox County Prosecutor's Office, which presented the evidence to a grand jury Tuesday.

The grand jury found Jones' use of deadly force during the incident was justified as self-defense, according to Thursday's press release, which cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

The grand jury also indicted Price on four counts: having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony; failure to obey the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony; improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

"Price has prior felony convictions that prevent him from legally possessing a firearm," Thursday's press release stated. "Price allegedly discarded the firearm after the traffic stop incident."

Price was arraigned Wednesday, with Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Wetzel setting bond at $500,000.

"The investigation was ongoing, and that additional charges could be filed as more facts come to light," the press release stated. "The investigation of the incident is being conducted by agents of Ohio BCI and detectives from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office."

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Staff Reporter

Grant is a 2018 graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he studied journalism and played basketball. He likes coffee, books and minor league baseball. He loves telling stories and has a passion for local news.