Off-duty Cleveland Police officer shot and killed in carjacking
Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County offers up to $10,000 for information leading to the identity and prosecution of anyone involved in this murder
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An off-duty Cleveland Police officer was shot and killed in a carjacking on the city’s West Side on New Year’s Eve, Cleveland Police Union President Jeff Follmer confirmed.
The carjacking happened in the 4300 block of Rocky River Drive in Cleveland around 6 p.m., authorities said.
Cleveland EMS said crews took an approximately 27-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds to Fairview Hospital in critical condition.
Authorities said he was shot twice in the back and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Follmer confirmed the victim was a patrol officer for the Cleveland Division of Police Fifth District.
His name has not yet been released.
Officials said a BOLO was issued for his stolen car, which police sources said was later recovered on East 261st Street and Lakeshore in Euclid after leading police on a chase through several East Side communities.
Police sources told 19 News that two suspects are in custody.
Their motive remains unknown, and it is unclear if the suspects were aware the victim was a police officer.
19 News crews saw the officer’s car had sustained damage as it was being towed away from the scene.
A press conference was held outside the hospital once his family was notified of the tragedy.
“This is a very sad day. My heart is aching for the family and for our officers. Senseless... it just doesn’t make any sense,” Deputy Chief of Police Wayne Drummond stated.
“It’s a heck of a way to end the year. Anytime that life is taken is a tragedy,” Cleveland Safety Director Karrie Howard said. “We just ask that everybody prays for the families of all the victims of crimes in our city... pray for the family of this officer. It’s a difficult time. Pray for our city.”
Mayor-elect Justin Bibb gave the following statement at the press conference outside the hospital:
“This evening is about the family of the slain officer that we lost today, and I just ask the residents of Cleveland to keep the family in your prayers... I know I’ll do the same. Let’s all stay vigilant this evening, stay safe, and healthy. I also want to thank all members of law enforcement who supported us this evening. And again, everyone stay safe, and please keep this family in your prayers this evening.”
The Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County said it is offering a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identity and prosecution of anyone involved in the murder of this off-duty officer.
Call 216-25CRIME or go to go to www.25crime.com with your tips.
Tipsters can stay anonymous.
Return to 19 News for updates.
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