State-wide alert identifies innocent man in connection to officer-involved shooting

Posted at 7:56 PM, Apr 12, 2017

Chaz Gillilan's face has been all over social media and his picture was sent to every law enforcement agency in the state. Now News 5 is investigating why Chaz Gillilan ended up being identified as a suspect in an officer-involved shooting - and why his face is still on social media.

The Blue Alert is reserved for the most violent criminals, who target law enforcement officials. And within an hour of a shooting involving a Newcomerstown police officer, a statewide blue alert was activated.

"He was on the news for shooting an officer," said Haley, Gillilan's wife. Haley says she was immediately flooded with phone calls. "They had his picture plastered all over the internet," said Haley.

But Haley says the two were in bed in Coshoctan County Tuesday morning. When Gillilan turned himself in around noon, police quickly cleared him. "The issue that I am dealing with, he has nothing to do with," said Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland.

As for the officer, he was not missing. So, we wanted to know how this mix-up occurred that fueled hate-filled posts on Gillilan's Facebook page.

"The officer saw the tattoos and said it could be this person... He was just a person of interest at that point" said Holland.

But later, a post made by Newcomerstown police on their Facebook page claims they don't know how Gillilan was named.

Meanwhile, an update made to the Blue Alert web page around 6 p.m. Tuesday stated Gillilan had been taken into custody.