‘Concerned citizen' fires gun at suspect during Parma traffic stop; security expert weighs in

Updated: Jan. 18, 2019 at 6:40 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A national security expert is weighing in on the case of a “concerned citizen” who fired a gun during a police chase in Parma.

The man, who has not been named by police, was not the suspect in the case, but had pulled his vehicle up close to the cruiser as the police officer attempted to stop the suspect’s car.

The incident happened Tuesday night. The suspect, who police say had just been involved in an incident of domestic violence, is seen on dashcam video, ignoring the officer, who tells him to stop. Instead, the man rams his vehicle into the Jeep that has just pulled up.

At that point, video shows the man in the Jeep pulling out a gun and firing several shots, missing the officer and suspect. The suspect then drives away, and is pursued by the police officer. A few minutes later, he was taken into custody and charged with multiple crimes, including assault with a deadly weapon.

As for the man police call a "concerned citizen," they say he was in fear for his life when he fired the shots and was trying to protect both himself and the officer when he did so.

Tim Dimoff, a national security expert, told Cleveland 19 News it is very difficult to determine whether the man did the right thing by firing the gun, for which he did have a legal concealed carry permit.

"You would need to have a report, an interview, an understanding of what that civilian saw in his words and not to attempt to backseat quarterback this, because there were some intense moments there," said Dimoff.

Dimoff says the situation makes it difficult to tell exactly what action anyone should have taken, but does say a civilian should only fire a weapon in the most serious of situations.

"I think it needs to be only in very extreme situations would I support or suggest to a civilian to pull their firearm out and fire it," he said.

Cleveland 19 reached out to Parma Police, who said no one was available to speak on-camera about the incident.

Records showed no charges were filed against the concerned citizen.

Cleveland 19 tried to contact the man, but we were not able to reach him on Friday.

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