New Richmond police officer Jesse Kidder, who has been praised nationally for his restraint in not shooting a homicide suspect, was praised by New Richmond Exempted Village School District Supt. Adam Bird at this week’s school board meeting. Officer Kidder works as a part-time school resource officer at New Richmond’s main campus.
“I would like to recognize Officer Kidder, who has been the focus of some national attention for the way he handled a very serious situation,” Supt. Bird told school board members. “It makes me feel good that we have an officer as fore thinking and as cautious as Officer Kidder is under such a stressful in our schools.”
Officer Kidder was on duty in New Richmond on April 16 when he spotted a car driven by Michael Wilcox, a double-homicide suspect in the killing of his girlfriend Courtney Fowler, 25, in Brown County and his best friend, Zach Gilkison, 27, in Elsmere, Ky.
The New Richmond officer, who had been informed by dispatchers that Wilcox could be armed and may want to ‘commit suicide by cop,’ pursued Wilcox for 11 minutes in a high speed chase that ended on Eight Mile Road in Hamilton County when Wilcox stopped and charged at the Kidder, holding one hand in the pocket of his hoodie shirt and claiming he had a gun and asking to be shot by the officer.
Kidder, who recognized that the pocket of Wilcox’s shirt wasn’t sagging as it would had he had a gun, refused to shoot and tried to tried to open a dialog with the suspect until backup arrived and Wilcox surrendered. Kidder, a former Marine and Purple Heart recipient from duty in Iraq, captured the event on his body camera that was a gift from his family. Law enforcement officials say Officer Kidder would have been more than justified to shoot the charging suspect.
"Officer Kidder's life was placed in immediate danger and I am proud to say he used great restraint at the risk of his own safety," New Richmond police chief Randy Harvey said in a statement on the department's Facebook page.
“It makes you feel confident in Officer Kidder’s ability to handle any stressful situation he may face in our schools,” said Supt. Bird.
Wilcox confessed to Brown County officials, saying he was high on "everything" and that his music told him to kill.
Click on the link below for one of the national reports on Officer Kidder.