His behavior was 'completely out of character,' family says about man shot on I-90 by Cuyahoga County sheriff's deputy

His behavior was 'completely out of character,' family says about man shot on I-90 by Cuyahoga County sheriff's deputy
(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)
Several lanes of traffic were shut down after a victim was critically injured on I-90 east Thursday evening. (Source: OHGO)
Several lanes of traffic were shut down after a victim was critically injured on I-90 east Thursday evening. (Source: OHGO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said the 33-year-old Westlake man who was shot by a deputy while acting erratically on I-90 Thursday evening has died.

The medical examiner said Brett Luengo died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Luengo's family released a statement on Friday:

"While continuing to struggle with his sudden passing on May 24, the family of Brett Luengo wishes to extend it's gratitude to the Good Samaritans who stopped to assist Brett subsequent to his automobile accident on the evening of May 24, 2018.

Brett's family would also like to acknowledge the quick response of area police and paramedics.

Brett was a beloved son and husband, a successful business executive, and supporter of the arts and his local community.

He was articulate, well spoken, highly intelligent and a loving man who is and will always be sorely missed.

The behavior observed on that fateful evening was completely out of character for Brett, and the family has many questions as everyone else.

This incident by no means defines the way in which Brett lived his life, which has sadly come to an untimely end."

The medical examiner identified the man as 33-year-old Brett Luengo.

On Thursday, Luengo was taken from the scene of the shooting on I-90 east at West Boulevard to MetroHealth Hospital where he died from his injuries.

According to witnesses, video and police reports, Luengo lunged at the deputy and attempted to attack him. The deputy first used a Taser on Luengo, but it was ineffective. He continued to ignore the deputy's commands leading up to the fatal shooting.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the Involved Deputy was working the traffic enforcement detail and encountered a traffic crash scene. He exited his vehicle to investigate and found that the involved parties were involved in an altercation.

Prior to his encounter with police, witnesses say Luengo claimed he was a child molester on the drug PCP.

"Our safety officers do not come into service to take lives, but to save them," Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Buddish regarding the deputy's actions.

The deputy who discharged the service weapon has been placed on administrative leave.

The investigation surrounding the incident is still ongoing.

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