Community holds vigil to remember Thomas Yatsko, man killed by a Cleveland police officer

Community holds vigil to remember Thomas Yatsko, man killed by a Cleveland police officer

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Several community groups joined together Saturday night outside of the Corner Alley in University Circle to remember Thomas Yatsko.

"I am Thomas' mom and I am here tonight to mourn the loss of my son and to celebrate his life.," Melissa Yatsko.

The 21-year-old was shot and killed by an off duty Cleveland Police officer last Saturday, Jan. 13.

Cleveland Police say Yatsko was allegedly involved in an altercation with Sgt. Dean Graziolli who was working at Corner Alley at the time.

He shot Yatsko in the neck and he died.

Yatsko was unarmed and records show he did not have a criminal record.

His family and the community want answers.

"We are told that he went back to get his jacket and because of that, it's a death penalty? You go from breaking up a fight, separating people and the next thing we know a young man is laid out on that concrete with two bullet holes in him? That doesn't make any sense? Sounds like murder to me," said Brother Khalid Samad, Peace In The Hood.

More than a hundred people showed up to comfort Yatsko's family members, who still have many questions.

They marched around the place where he was killed, demanding justice for their loved one.

Many came wearing -shirts, holding balloons  and lighting candles for Thomas.

"I want to thank you all for coming out to support my family and my wonderful, loving, caring, generous, thoughtful, beautiful, amazing son. Thank you everybody. It's about Thomas. It's about him," said Melissa Yatsko.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting.

Thomas will be laid to rest on Monday and his family will celebrate his life

Family and friends have started this GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

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