Norton gunman suspected of planning assault rifle ambush against police

David Michael Havrilek, 41, of Akron, was apprehended Tuesday night after allegedly opening fire in Norton. (Source: WOIO)
David Michael Havrilek, 41, of Akron, was apprehended Tuesday night after allegedly opening fire in Norton. (Source: WOIO)

NORTON, OH (WOIO) - A suspected active shooter in Norton was placed in custody Tuesday night.

At about 6:55 p.m., Norton police dispatch received a call from an eyewitness that a man -- later identified as David Michael Havrilek -- was standing beneath a storage unit at Barber Road Storage off Barber Road with an assault rifle and a machete.

When police arrived, Havrilek, 41, of Akron, opened fire. Police returned fire and hit him at least once.

Havrilek then retreated into a wooded area where police carefully employed several tactics to pin him down, according to Norton Police Chief John Dalessandro.

"We harp training on our guys, you know I thank God they didn't retreat or go past their cover...he was waiting for them to go into the wood area...the officers did what they were supposed to do," he said.

According to Norton Police, Havrilek was taken to Akron General Hospital and is being treated for a gunshot wound.

Havrilek has a previous criminal history, including domestic violence, assault and felonious assault.

SWAT was brought in along with a police helicopter that was equipped with infrared imaging equipment. The camera was able to determine that Havrilek was acting alone.

No police officers were injured.

As the situation unfolded, the public was urged to steer clear of Barberton High School and its sports complex, according to the Barberton Herald. Barberton Schools placed the students in the middle and high schools on lockdown, until police cleared the area. All students were released to their families.

Havrilek was pursued in Norton on the Norton-Barberton border, according to the Norton Police Department.

Police had shut down Barber Road between Interstate 76 and Morgan Avenue to establish a security perimeter. People were told to avoid the area.

Police urged the public to stay inside and lock their doors.

Return to Cleveland 19 for more on this developing story.

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