August 4, 2015 / 12:05 AM / 3 years ago

Bottle in car of Ohio man shot by police held fragrance: coroner

(Reuters) - The coroner investigating the death of Samuel DuBose, who was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer earlier this month, said on Monday that a bottle found in his car marked as gin held fragrance, not an alcoholic beverage.

University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing's body camera shows driver Samuel Dubose pulled over during a traffic stop in Cincinnati, Ohio July 19, 2015, in a still image from video released by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office on July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office/Handout via Reuters

The substance in the bottle was “consistent with compounds commonly found in fragrance products, such as air fresheners and perfumes,” said a statement from the office of Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco.

DuBose was pulled over by police officer Raymond Tensing on July 19 because the vehicle he was driving did not have a front license plate. Footage from Tensing’s body camera showed the officer noticed a bottle on the floor of the car. DuBose handed him the bottle, marked as gin, and told him it was air freshener.

About a minute later, the two men struggled after DuBose, 43, refused Tensing’s request to step out of the car. Tensing reached into the car with his weapon and fatally shot DuBose in the head.

Last week, a grand jury indicted Tensing on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in DuBose’s death. The university fired Tensing, who has appealed to be reinstated.

Justin Weber, an investigator with the coroner’s office, said no other findings, including whether DuBose was drinking, would be released until the investigation was finished.

Also on Monday, Audrey DuBose, the mother of Samuel DuBose, asked a judge to let her be the administrator of his estate.

A court document filed Monday said the estate is being opened in Hamilton County Probate Court “to pursue a claim for wrongful death,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. However, DuBose attorney Mark O’Mara told Reuters that talk of filing a wrongful death lawsuit would be “premature” at this time.

Reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Kentucky; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Eric Walsh

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