The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations seized over 1,000 firearms and 140,000 rounds of ammunition from the home of two brothers who were fatally shot by police during a nine-hour standoff Saturday.
According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the brothers, Randy Wilhelm, 56, and Bradley Wilhelm, 53, fired guns at law enforcement vehicles and planned to detonate a propane tank as a bomb rather than face capture before being fatally shot by officers.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations of the state Attorney General’s Office later seized more than 1,000 firearms and more than 140,000 rounds of ammunition from the family’s property in Monroe Township, Knox County.
According to the Ohio Attorney General’s office, which oversees BCI, the firearms seized are primarily sporting shotguns and hunting caliber rifles, with the majority of the ammunition being target ammunition for trapshooting.
Around 11:30 p.m. Friday, deputies from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shots fired call on Gilchrist Road near the village of Howard in Monroe Township, about 50 miles northeast of Columbus.
According to the sheriff’s office, a bail bondsman called law enforcement and reported that a suspect had shot his vehicle multiple times. Authorities said the bondsman was attempting to apprehend Randy Wilhelm, who had failed to appear in Knox County Common Pleas Court on a $100,000 bond.
Wilhelm has been charged with intimidation, menacing by stalking, bribery, felonious assault, and domestic violence since 2020. He failed to appear in court for his jury trial on August 2, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Deputies from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office first obtained a search warrant from the Mount Vernon Municipal Court in order to locate and seize Randy Wilhelm and any firearms on the property. During the ongoing investigation into Wilhelm, detectives received multiple tips that he had a stockpile of firearms and ammunition, that he had threatened not to be arrested, and that he had the skills as a well-known trap shooter and proficient marksman to defend himself, according to authorities.
While responding to the scene, deputies requested assistance from various agencies, including BCI, the Ohio Highway Patrol, Mount Vernon police, Richland and Delaware county sheriff’s offices, and the Marysville police Special Response Team. According to authorities, armored vehicles were provided for entering the property, and three of them were hit by gunfire from the two brothers.
Authorities said a bulk propane truck was moved next to one of the property’s houses during the standoff. Randy Wilhelm had previously threatened to blow up the propane tanker if law enforcement tried to apprehend him.
Sgt. Brice Nihiser of the Ohio Highway Patrol said Sunday that the suspects fired at an agency helicopter but did not hit it. Investigators were still attempting to determine how many shots the brothers fired during the standoff on Monday.
“Anytime we’re shot at, things definitely escalate,” Nihiser said.
Authorities said the brothers were riding side by side in a utility ATV toward officers who were outside of an armored vehicle around 9:20 a.m. Saturday when they were fatally shot by law enforcement officers.
“An officer-involved shooting occurred when law enforcement attempted to stop the suspects,” Knox County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Sheffer said at a news conference Saturday.
BCI continued the firearms search at the request of Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville, and their investigation is ongoing. The BCI has been asked to look into 40 officer-involved shootings in Ohio in 2022. According to a spokesperson for the attorney general, the BCI investigated 69 officer-involved shootings in 2021, 50 in 2020, 26 in 2019, and 20 in 2018.