911 hang up leads to deadly Canton police shooting

Officials in Canton say two officers have fatally shot a suspect. (Source: WOIO)
Officials in Canton say two officers have fatally shot a suspect. (Source: WOIO)

CANTON, OH (WOIO) - Early Wednesday, around 1 a.m., Canton police responded to a 9-1-1 call. They encountered Hayden Stutz, 24, who they say began to curse and act out while talking to officers.

"Sit down," said one Canton policewoman talking to Stutz before the situation turned fatal. "Whatever makes you comfortable, OK?"

Stutz told her there was a pistol in a nearby bush.

"Just stay away from the pistol," she replied. "OK? Alright? Stay away from the pistol."

Authorities say that's when Stutz went for the pistol.

"I don't give a (expletive)," he said. "I do not give a flying (expletive)."

Shortly after that exchange, Stutz was seen wrestling with his girlfriend. Police say he had her in a choke hold. Another officer gave Stutz orders.

"Let go of her right now," the officer said. "Let go of her."

Stutz had originally called for a fire truck, police, and an inhaler. After the situation escalated, he was shot dead.

His girlfriend of 18 months wailed in disbelief.

"Did you shoot him?" she cried.

The house where Stutz lived with his father is where the fatal police-involved shooting occurred.

A neighbor said Stutz was a severe diabetic who sometimes got combative when low on sugar. The neighbor said it was still a shock.

Cleveland 19 edited the video that aired in our newscasts due to graphic content.

Cleveland 19 showed the full body camera footage from both officers who responded to national security expert Timothy Dimoff for his reaction.

"He's grabbing her at the neck area, officers warn him again, he continues to refuse, officer shoots one time," Dimoff said after watching the video.

Dimoff spent 20 years in law enforcement. He says the officer tried to de-escalate the situation.

"Those were split second decisions, there's a fear, they were told there was a gun, he's being aggressive toward the female," Dimoff said.

Canton police confirmed to Cleveland 19 they did not find a gun on the suspect after the shooting.

Dimoff says the officers acted believing the suspect had a gun.

"I believe this is very clearly a justifiable use of force," he said.

Stutz had at least two priors, one for drunken disorderly conduct in 2011, and another for drug abuse in 2015.

There's no word on why Stutz and his girlfriend were fighting. Two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Anyone with any information about this crime is asked to contact the Canton Police Detective Bureau at (330) 489-3144.

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