WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Howland police are now saying that during the course of the investigation, former Warren police officer Noah Linnen changed his story four times. His latest version of what happened was enough to seek a warrant for his arrest.
Linnen was fired from the Warren Police Department Wednesday afternoon.
Police radio traffic from Jan. 13: “Radio, shots fired on Warren Avenue. I’m hit twice, subject fled.”
Linnen’s call that day sent about 50 officers from ten different law enforcement agencies rushing to help him.
Now investigators are saying what Linnen claimed happened didn’t happen at all.
“We actually started to question his credibility once we weren’t able to locate a vehicle that he described to us in the surveillance video,” said Howland Police Chief Nick Roberts.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Roberts revealed Linnen changed his story four times — from his initial claim of a black man in a dark SUV to a black man on a bicycle, then to a black man walking.
“Once again, our detectives confronted Noah and advised him that they’d already spoken with several witnesses in the area who have surveillance video from that area that does not show any person or persons on foot in that area at that time,” Roberts said.
He said that’s when Linnen changed his story for the last time, telling detectives he pulled over to bring up directions on his cell phone, when he claimed a vehicle heading toward him went over the center line and almost hit him.
Roberts said Linnen told them it infuriated him, so he shot three rounds from his duty weapon through his driver’s side door.
When he realized what he’d done, he took his personal weapon and shot it into the passenger seat of his car, investigators said.
“He stated he had to stage the scene because he was fearful of what would happen if it got back to his supervisors that he fired his duty weapon off-duty and out of his jurisdiction,” Roberts said.
Because of this series of events, Linnen is now facing three felonies and a misdemeanor.
“If he’s convicted of all counts and the judge saw fit to run the counts consecutive, he could face six years incarceration,” said Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Mike Burnett.
Linnen has already been released from jail after posting bond. He’s due back in court on February 20.
Warren city leaders said it’s a sad day for the city and they’re disappointed.