Cleveland Police fatally shoot man in downtown Cleveland Sunday

Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 3:36 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 8:08 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two on-duty Cleveland police officers shot and killed a man who was waving a gun in public and firing the weapon, according to police.

He was identified by the medical examiner’s office Monday morning.

Police got a call from two off-duty officers and citizens around 3:30 p.m. for a man shooting a gun at East 12th Street and Superior Avenue.

Andre King was at the Dollar General on East 12th Street when shots rang out.

“I heard the shots when I was coming out of the dollar store. There were about 12 or 13 shots. I ran back in the dollar store -- cause I didn’t know where the bullets was coming from. But I came out to see the man down on the ground, I was like oh my God,” he said.

Jeff Follmer, the President of the C.P.P.A. (the police patrolman’s union) said the officers approached the suspect and told him to put the gun down, which he complied with, but he then picked the gun back up and started shooting at officers; the officers returned fire, striking the man.

“It’s hard for police officers. No officer wants to use deadly force. These officers are shaken up and you know it’s a rough day for them,” he said.

Chief Calvin Williams said his officers responded and tried to end things peacefully, but the man with the gun opened fire.

“At this point shots were exchanged and the male went down. He is deceased. I don’t know the suspect at all in this incident. We’ll hopefully find out later the frame of mind of this person and why the person would do what they did. But our officers acted the way they should and tried to get this person to surrender and put the down, that’s when the person fired at them and they had to protect themselves,” Williams said.

It’s unclear how many shots were actually fired by the suspect and by police, but 19 News counted at least 79 evidence markers which includes not just bullet casing but all evidence at the scene that will become part of the investigation.

“This male we actually tracked a little bit east on Superior, probably back to East 30th Street. With some work from the Real Time Camera Center we could see he actually had the weapon, had it out. We don’t know if he actually fired it that far back, but we do know he actually had that weapon, had it out and was pointing it at vehicles that were passing by. Pointing up in the air and different things while he walked west bound on Superior Avenue,” Williams said.

No officers were injured.

The shooting investigation will be handled by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s office.

The state’s crime lab, BCI & I was on the scene for hours collecting all the evidence in the case.

Windows at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District headquarters on Superior Avenue were shattered during the shootout. No one appeared to be in the building at the time. Chief Williams is asking anyone who comes into their offices on Monday and notices damage from the shooting in the area of Superior and East 12th to let his office know.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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