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Man pleads not guilty in shooting at officers

By Julia Tullos | January 19, 2021 at 10:34 AM EST – Updated January 19 at 12:44 PM

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KENT, Ohio (WOIO) – The man accused of shooting two Kent police officers after breaking into a Kent home was arraigned in Portage County Municipal Court Tuesday morning.

Dante Dixon, 40, pleaded not guilty to the charges of aggravated burglary and felonious assault on police officers and was ordered held on a $1 million bond.

Prosecutors said Dixon has an extensive criminal history and was just released from prison.

Kent police said Dixon broke into a home in the 1500 block of E. Summit Street where a 14-year-old babysitter was home alone with a one-year-old child Saturday morning.

The babysitter hid inside the home and called 911.

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When officers arrived, they said they entered the home and immediately confronted Dixon, who was armed with a handgun.

Dante Dixon, 40, accused of shooting two Kent police officers.

Dante Dixon, 40, accused of shooting two Kent police officers. (Source: Kent police)

Police said multiple shots were fired and Officer Lenny Kunka was shot in the hand.

Kent police officer shot in the line of duty.

Kent police officer shot in the line of duty. (Source: Kent police)

Officer Kyle Auckland was shot in the chest and police said he was saved by his bullet-proof vest.

Kent police officer shot in the line of duty.

Kent police officer shot in the line of duty. (Source: Kent police)

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Dixon, of Cleveland Heights, was shot in the abdomen.

Police said Dixon continued to fight with officers even after being shot and was eventually handcuffed by multiple officers; including, the two who had been shot.

Both officers and Dixon were transported to local hospitals.

Kunka and Auckland were released from the hospital Saturday, but the extent of Kunka’s hand injuries are not yet known.

Dixon underwent emergency surgery Saturday and was also released from the hospital later that same day.

Kent police said Dixon knows a resident who lives at the home, but the person was not there Saturday morning.

Dixon’s car was parked multiple houses away from the home he is accused of breaking into and it is not clear what is intentions were, police said.

Kunka is a five-year veteran of the Kent police force and also worked as a deputy with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.

Auckland is a seven-year veteran of the Kent police force and also served in the U.S. Army National Guard.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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