WILLOWICK, Ohio (WOIO) - A 20-year veteran of the Willowick police department is home from the hospital after being shot in the line of duty Friday evening.
Willowick Police Chief Brian Turner said Patrolman Ben Bruno was shot in the chest, but was saved by his bullet-proof vest.
After the shooting, Bruno was transported to Hillcrest Hospital for an evaluation.
According to Turner, around 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 2, police received a call regarding an erratic driver at Vine Street and Willowick Drive.
The suspect’s vehicle was located and followed by both Willowick and Eastlake officers, said Turner.
The suspect allegedly refused to stop and crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of Bayridge Blvd. and Willowick Drive.
The impact caused the second vehicle to overturn.
Eastlake police stayed at the intersection to handle the accident report and said the driver was not seriously injured and there were no passengers in the car.
According to Turner, the suspect continued driving his vehicle, at times reaching speeds of 75 mph.
On Daniel Drive, the suspect stopped his car and refused to follow the officer’s commands, said Turner.
The suspect then reached down, grabbed a handgun and began firing at Bruno and Patrolman Mark Guerrieri, an 18-year veteran of the Willowick police department.
Both Bruno and Guerrieri returned fire, striking the suspect several times, said Turner.
Patrolman Jacob Cook, a four-year veteran of the Willowick police department, then provided first aid to the suspect until EMS arrived.
The suspect, whose name is not being released, was transported to LakeWest Hospital and then flown by Life Flight to MetroHealth Hospital.
Turner said he remains in critical, but stable condition.
Turner added charges will be filed when he is released from the hospital.
Both Bruno and Guerrieri are on paid administrative leave, which is department policy.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is also conducting an independent investigation of the shooting.