EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - I-90 west and east at East 156th Street were closed Wednesday morning while crews investigated and cleaned up a crash that stemmed from a Euclid Police chase following an officer-involved shooting around 5 a.m.
The officer-involved shooting happened at the Midway Lounge at 20670 Lakeland Blvd. The suspect was hit in the shooting.
“He had his hands in the air, and said ‘We didn’t do [anything] officer’ and they started shooting at him,” a man who only identified himself as Tonio told 19 News.
However, the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 18 in Euclid said the suspect attempted to strike an officer with his car, which prompted the shooting and subsequent pursuit that ended on I-90.
The driver of the car that was being pursued was taken to MetroHealth Hospital, according to Cleveland Police.
Cleveland EMS confirmed the driver was a man around 30 years old in critical condition.
No Euclid police officers were injured or cruisers damaged, according to Cleveland Police.
Cleveland Police said their division was not involved in the chase.
Euclid Police said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident.
NAACP President Cassandra McDonald released the following statement regarding the shooting:
“The Euclid NAACP of NEO has requested and is waiting on records, video and other information to conduct a law & policy analyst on the incident that took place earlier this morning.
Police state that the suspect led them on a high speed chase after shots had allegedly been fired prior to the officers pursuing the vehicle.
Though we don't want to rush to judgment, we cannot be oblivious to the fact that we have some very serious questions to ask concerning how this event began and most definitely how it ended. We have a high speed chase, in which lawmakers and community members have been advocating more against in light of recent fatalities, we have an officer claiming that the suspect was trying to run them over prior to the shooting, so we need to see any dash and/or body cam video, then we also have a suspect that may have been involved in a crime, but they must be innocent until proven guilty, and there is no clarity in who all was involved as according to police, the suspect may have been shooting at someone else. Therefore, we must thoroughly investigate what happened and be critical in our methods.
The City of Euclid unfortunately is known for aggressive police tactics and because of this the community as well as the Euclid NAACP of NEO will be watching this closely.
Upon our investigation, and speaking to the appropriate individuals including outside sources to assist with the investigation, we will issue a formidable statement.”
FOP, Lodge 18 offered these remarks regarding the moments that led up to the shooting:
“We understand and appreciate the public’s concern whenever an officer is faced with the difficult, split-second decision to defend himself against someone who might have a weapon, be it a firearm or an automobile. FOP Lodge 18 members work hard every day to protect the public and keep our community safe. There are times when an officer is faced with no other option but to use deadly force. We stand by our fellow officer and we encourage everyone to reserve judgment until all facts are known.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer and his family, as well as the suspect and his family.”
Return to 19 News for updates.