Officer Kevin Behr, a 25-year veteran of the Ohio wildlife division, is currently in stable condition after being treated for a gunshot wound on Sunday afternoon. He was investigating a deer poaching tip in Clinton County near Macedonia and Martinsville roads, the Cincinnati Inquirer reports.
While details regarding the shooting are still unclear, three suspects have been arrested: Brian Liming, Thomas Davis, and Brian Achtermann. The sheriff’s office has not yet confirmed which suspect shot Behr, but all have been charged with other wildlife-related misdemeanors. Liming is charged with hunting without permission and hunting without a deer permit. Davis is charged with aiding an offender. Achtermann is charged with hunting without a license and hunting without a deer permit.
“Upon completion, [the investigation] will be presented to the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office for a determination of additional charges,” the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “We would ask for everyone to keep Investigator Behr and his family in their prayer’s during this difficult time.”
Behr was airlifted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and is expected to recover, according to WLWT News.
This is not the first time an Ohio game warden has been shot in the line of duty. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, four officers have been killed by gunfire since the department’s founding. In 1916, a deputy game warden was killed by a 19-year-old squirrel hunter when he tried to grab the gun from the unlicensed hunter, resulting in a gunshot wound to his abdomen. In 1922, another warden was killed when trying to serve an arrest warrant to bootleggers in Preble County. In 1952, a third was killed by a squirrel hunter hunting out of season. In 1955, an officer was killed by a landowner who was interfering with a wildlife arrest.
If you have any additional information that could help in this investigation, please call 937-382-1611.
MeatEater wishes Officer Behr a speedy recover.