Shots fired at Cleveland officers chasing suspect
Shots were fired Sunday at Cleveland police officers in a foot chase of a suspect near the site of a boy’s fatal encounter with officers last year, police said.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters Sunday afternoon that officers responded that morning to a report of six men waving guns and a man at the scene fled police when they tried to question him. The chief said the man pointed a gun at police and an officer fired four rounds without hitting the man, who continued running.
A number of unidentified people then began firing at officers from behind as police continued chasing the man, who was apprehended a few blocks away, Williams said.
No one was shot, but the man who fled was treated at a hospital for what appeared to be a small puncture wound to his stomach, Williams said.
“We believe that wound occurred while the suspect was jumping fences,” Williams said.
The chase occurred not far from where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot in November by an officer. That racially charged case sparked outrage around the country. The boy was black; the officer is white. A grand jury is to decide whether charges should be brought against the officer.
Dozens of people gathered nearby Sunday as police investigated, and they yelled angrily at officers. The crowd’s anger eventually eased. The anger appeared to have been triggered by unsubstantiated rumors of police wrongdoing, Williams said.
“Rumors like this get going and then people get upset because they think police are trying to cover up something, which is not the case,” he said.
Police found the handgun they believe the man pointed at officers and apparently threw through a window into a vacant house, Williams said.
Police spokesman Ali Pillow said the department’s use of deadly force investigation team will look into the shooting, and he expects that the officer who fired his weapon and the two officers who were shot at by unknown suspects will be placed on administrative leave. He had no additional information on the injured man’s identity or age.