A 23-year-old man was shot and killed in September during a marijuana raid by police in Ohio’s Preble County. Armed officers stormed Clayton Helriggle’s farmhouse home after a “short term” investigation, and shot him fatally in the chest.
Police claim that Helriggle had a gun in his hand when officers saw him coming down a stairwell during their raid. Family and friends disputed this claim, and during a protest outside the Preble County Courthouse they said that he had in his hand only a blue cup. Roommates said Helriggle did own a handgun, but that it was upstairs when police entered their house.
Helriggle’s roommates explained that police in full body armor broke through the back door with battering rams, then started throwing in flash grenades three at a time. 30 more officers stormed out of the woods surrounding the house.
Police told the media they had confiscated a small amount of marijuana, pills, drug paraphernalia and quantities of drug packaging.
The roommates said they smoked marijuana and that they had pipes in the house.?One roommate, with a bad knee, had a prescription for a pain-killer. They said the “drug packaging” was a box of plastic sandwich bags.
“[Helriggle] died in my arms,” one roommate told the Middletown Journal,?”it took about two minutes. They saw me, drenched in Clay’s blood? The cops are smoking and joking, high-fiving each other. ‘Wow,’ I think, ‘they took down a farm of unarmed hippies.’ If they would have come to the door and said, ‘Give us your dope, hippies,’ we’d have gotten about a $100 ticket.”