Graphic videos released Sunday show eight Ohio cops firing the barrage of bullets that killed a black man fleeing a traffic stop in Akron — with the city’s mayor calling the footage “heartbreaking.”
Authorities have not said how many shots were fired at DoorDash driver Jayland Walker, 25, but Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett on Sunday acknowledged the number could be more than 90, with the man suffering at least 60 bullet wounds, according to cincinnati.com.
The shooting took place Monday, after Walker allegedly refused to stop for cops trying to pull him over for unspecified traffic and vehicle violations.
Police say Walker fired a gunshot from his car as he was being pursued.
When Walker finally stopped his vehicle, he got out of the car in a ski mask and ran away from police, footage shows.
Police said it appears he was turning toward officers, who believed he was preparing to shoot at them, when cops opened fire. One video shows a hail of bullets fired toward Walker, who Mylett said was unarmed at the time.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan called the video “heartbreaking,” while a lawyer for Walker’s family has said the man was on the ground as cops continued to fire.
Mylett refused to say Sunday whether the shooting was justified and added that when a cop “makes the most critical decision in his or her life” and points a weapon at someone and fires, they have to explain “for every round down the barrel of a gun,” the Cincinnati outlet said.
A local medical examiner arrived at the scene to find Walker in handcuffs lying on his back, according to an ME “worksheet” in the case, the Beacon Journal reported. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mylett said police later found a bullet casing, consistent with the gun Walker had, around the area where authorities believe he shot his weapon while driving.
A gun also was recovered on the driver’s seat of Walker’s car, police said — as was a bullet clip and what appeared to be a gold wedding band, the Cincinnati paper said, citing video. Walker’s fiancee had died in an accident last month, the outlet said.
Police said during Sunday’s press conference, which was streamed by USA Today, that 40 seconds after the driver fled the attempted stop, a gunshot was heard on officers’ body cams. Officers reported to dispatch a gunshot came from Walker’s car, police said.
Walker suffered more than 60 gunshot wounds, though it’s unclear how many bullets hit him as officials examine entrance and exit wounds, Mylett said.
Officers attempted earlier to use their stun guns to stop Walker but were unsuccessful, police said.
A lawyer for the Walker family, Bobby DiCello, said Sunday after the footage was released that he was “very concerned” police alleged Walker fired at officers.
He argued there was no justification for this death. He urged peace during protests.
“They want to turn him into a masked monster with a gun,” DiCello said. “I ask you, as he’s running away, what is reasonable? To gun him down? No, that’s not reasonable.”
All of the involved officers are on paid administrative leave.
Mylett said he was told by the police union head that the officers were cooperating with the investigation, which is being conducted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Medical-examiner photos of Walker viewed by an Akron Beacon Journal reporter show he had wounds to his face, torso and upper leg.
DiCello said the family is unsure why Walker fled from police. He noted Walker was grieving the recent death of his fiancée.
“He was sad, but he was getting through it,” DiCello said.
With Post Wires