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Columbus Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting of Woman

A Columbus police sergeant who shot and killed a suicidal woman on the Northwest Side on Oct. 25 has been cleared by a Franklin County grand jury.

Sgt. Jeffrey Baker shot Julie Caudill, 43, in her Ponset Street home when she opened the door holding a handgun. Caudill's husband, who was out of town, had sent police to the house, saying his wife was distraught and threatening to kill herself. She had previously threatened "suicide by cop."

When police arrived, Caudill opened the door; her wrists had been slashed, and she held a gun. She loaded a round into the chamber of the gun and turned toward Baker, according to a news release from Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, and Baker fired.

The grand jury met on Friday and did not indict the 11-year veteran of the Police Division.

All fatal police-involved shootings are reviewed by a grand jury.

A panel of police commanders also reviews each incident to determine whether officers acted within division policy. The division's review of the shooting has not been completed.

Copyright 2014 - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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