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Man killed by Akron officer threatened woman with knife, police say

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Posted at 7:44 AM, Dec 23, 2021

AKRON, Ohio — A man who allegedly had his estranged wife at knife-point inside a home in Akron's Kenmore neighborhood was shot and killed by an Akron police officer responding to the domestic-related incident, according to the Akron Police Department.

The shooting happened at a home in the 2400 block of 26th Street SW near Marmax Avenue.

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A large crime scene on 26th SW off Marmax in Akron on Thursday.

According to Akron police, officers responded to the home around 3:45 a.m. after a woman told authorities over the phone that her estranged husband, who she had a protection order against for prior domestic violence incidents, came into her home.

When officers arrived, they found the man holding the woman at knife-point. "Attempts to convince the suspect to release the victim and to drop the knife failed and one of the responding officers deployed his Taser. However, the suspect was able to hold onto the knife and the victim. Due to the threat posed to the victim by the suspect, a second officer on scene fired his duty weapon, striking the suspect," police said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as 58-year-old James Gross.

The officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy, police said. Each officer has been with the department around seven years.

“This was a very unfortunate incident,” said Police Chief Steve Mylett. “Members of the Akron Police Department value every human life and the loss of life in this incident is not the outcome we wanted. A complete and thorough investigation will take place and our findings will be shared with the public. I know that the citizens of Akron expect transparency and they will absolutely receive that in a timely manner.”

Footage of the incident will be released by the police department at a later date.

"Regarding the officer involved shooting that occurred early this morning, we will be releasing the body worn camera footage to the public in a timely fashion," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. "Our residents expect and deserve the highest degree of transparency and accountability regarding any use of deadly force by an Akron Police Officer. Releasing this footage will allow the public to see for themselves what occurred, including the moments leading up to the event."

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