Independent investigation wraps up involving four Kent City Police officers


A man armed with a machete was shot and killed by Kent Police on Dec. 17. Four Kent Police officers who were placed on administrative leave during the investigation have since returned to duty.

Neville Hardman

An independent investigation has been completed after four Kent Police officers were involved in the fatal shooting of Douglas Yon, a 25-year-old who charged at them with a machete on Dec. 17.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci requested an independent investigation as part of a long-standing policy that whenever officers are involved in a shooting, outside agencies must look into what happened, he said. With cooperation from the Portage County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Vigluicci determined the officers involved did not violate criminal laws.

On Feb. 12, officers Benjamin Darrah, Dominic Poe, Michael Carnahan and Sean Driscoll returned to work after being placed on paid administrative leave. 

“I certainly felt they were justified in what they did,” said Portage County Sheriff David Doak.

According to the report, police were called to the scene after a domestic dispute between Shauna Yon and her cousin, Douglas, at 626 Virginia Ave. Douglas responded physically when asked to leave the residence, shoving Shauna and breaking a coffee table before heading to the basement to retrieve a two-foot long machete weapon, according to the report.

“If any cop shows up he’s going after them,” Shauna said in her call to 911.

Vigluicci said police attempted to use non-deadly weapons before using deadly force, a component that was not known at the time of the event. Darrah was the first to fire four bean bag bullets at Douglas, which intended to stun him as they do not penetrate the skin like a bullet, Vigluicci said.

“We believe three of them struck him, but did not stop him,” Vigluicci said. “He kept coming. Only then did the other officers open fire as he got closer to them with the weapon.”

Driscoll and Carnahan were armed with AR-15 duty rifles and Poe carried a pistol, according to the report.

When Yon continued to charge toward the officers, ignoring commands to drop his weapon, they opened fire because they “feared for their lives and the lives of their fellow officers,” the report stated.

The report shows a total of 14 bullets fired, 10 from Driscoll and four from Poe as Carnahan’s gun jammed, leaving him unable to fire. The officers only fired until Yon fell to the ground and was no longer a threat.

“We’re certainly pleased with the outcome of the investigation,” said Lt. Michael Lewis of the Kent Police. “We believe in our officers and we stood behind them throughout this entire process.” 

Yon tested negative for the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the event through an autopsy from the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, Vigluicci said.

Neville Hardman is a city reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].