SIDNEY — The man suspected of shooting a Sidney Police officer was taken into custody when he surrendered after at least an hour-long standoff with the Sidney-Piqua Tactical Response Team (TRT) Thursday afternoon, Oct. 7, downtown Sidney. The suspect emerged from a residence on South West Avenue after being exposed to tear gas.
Sidney Police had been seeking help from the public to find Brandon Steele, 34, who is accused of shooting Sidney Sgt. Tim Kennedy Wednesday night.
Steele was arrested on two counts of committing a felonious assault on a police officer. He was placed in Shelby County Jail.
As a precaution, Sidney public and private schools closed on Thursday, as the suspect remained at large at the beginning of the school day.
According to a press release from Chief Will Balling, on Oct. 7, 2021, police received information on the whereabouts of Steele. The Sidney Piqua TRT was activated and surrounded the residence where he was believed to be. TRT and hostage negotiators were able to contact Steele, and he surrendered peacefully.
Balling’s previous release stated Sidney Police Department (SPD) officers attempted to serve a felony arrest warrant on Steele in the 700 block of Lynn Street on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. As officers approached the residence, Steele fled on foot. Steele and a SPD officer met towards the dead end of Ronan Street, where shots were fired. The suspect fled south again and was encountered in an alley off of Taft Street. The suspect fired his weapon at Kennedy, who was stuck by the gunfire. Steele then fled again on foot.
Kennedy was transported to Miami Valley Hospital and is currently in stable condition. Kennedy has served with SPD since 2007.
Sidney City Schools (SCS) Superintendent Bob Humble said he was informed around 5 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, about the shooting and made the decision right then to close schools for the day.
“We just thought it was the safest thing to do (given) someone has already fired at a police officer, and wounded a police officer. I just didn’t feel it was safe for kids to be walking up and down the street in the dark while they are basically doing a manhunt for this guy,” Humble said. “And it happened very close to three of our schools. So, I wasn’t going to take a chance if somehow he snuck into a building or is hiding behind someone’s house and grabs a kid. It just wasn’t worth it.”
Thursday evening school activities were in a “holding pattern,” Humble said by phone Thursday morning, as they tried to decide whether activities would resume for the evening. The hope, he said, is to reopen school on Friday.
Thursday afternoon, SCS’s Facebook page posted the following message, “With the ongoing situation surrounding the shooting incident from last night and the ongoing search for the suspect today, it is in the best interest of our students, families, and community to CANCEL ALL ACTIVITIES this evening, including practices, games, and the Homecoming Parade.
“We are planning to find a way to highlight the Homecoming Court within our school community Wednesday, Oct. 13, and when we do that, we will be sure to share with the public through our social media feeds,” the page continued.
“Volleyball Senior Night will take place at the Monday, Oct. 11 game.
“Thank you for your understanding at this time,” the post concluded.
Lehman Catholic High School, Holy Angels School and Christian Academy Schools also closed on Thursday.
“Lehman’s campus will remain closed for the rest of the day. Volleyball, Girl’s Soccer, and Boy’s Soccer are canceled for today. Football practice has been moved to the Piqua Football Stadium at 5 p.m.,” Lehman posted on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon.
“We want to thank all the police agencies,,” Balling said in Thursday’s release,” local organizations, and citizens for their support during this difficult time.”