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Officers fire shots at man who refused to drop gun in Akron home; SWAT robot finds him, other man dead

Posted at 10:29 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 19:28:44-05

AKRON, Ohio — Two men were found dead inside an Akron home Tuesday after two officers fired shots at a man inside the house armed with a gun.

Officers responded at 2:43 a.m. to multiple 911 calls about a 21-year-old man armed with a gun inside a home in the 500 block of Ritchie Avenue. Police said the caller told dispatch that the man was inside the house screaming and pointing a gun at the occupants of the home.

Once officers arrived at the home, yelling could be heard from inside the home. According to the news release, two people walked out of the house moments later.

At the scene, officers received knowledge that at least one additional person was inside with the man armed with a gun.

Officers stood just outside the side door of the home and gave the 21-year-old man numerous commands to drop the gun, Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

"Officers directed the suspect to put down the firearm, show his hands and exit the home. The suspect refused," Mylett said.

According to the chief, the suspect then pointed a gun at the officers and the officers fired shots. The armed man went back inside the home. Police said initially it was not clear if anyone was injured.

Officers then established a perimeter outside the home with the assistance of the Akron SWAT Team, who tried to communicate with the occupants inside. The efforts were unsuccessful.

The SWAT team deployed a robot, which found the 21-year-old man and the 38-year-old man dead inside the living room. Their names were not released as of Tuesday evening.

Mylett said it appeared the 38-year-old man was a victim of a homicide. The chief said evidence inside the home suggests that shots were fired in the home after officers fired their weapons at the 21-year-old man.

"Right now, the way in which the 38-year-old male's body was positioned within the house, it looks very, very unlikely that our rounds would have struck him," Mylett said.

Mylett said he wasn't sure if the 21-year-old was hit by the officer's gunfire, information that will likely be determined by the Summit County Medical Examiner.

Mylett told reporters that the investigation was still early and he didn't want to release premature details.

He did offer condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

"It's a tragic event. You know, anytime there's a loss of human life in our city, it's it is something that, you know, it's a tragic event. This was very avoidable had the individual dropped his firearm, come out safely. We wouldn't be having this press conference."

Police did not have a clear relationship between all of the people at the home, but Mylett said the 38-year-old man who was killed may been the brother of one of the men who left the home before police arrived.

Police said the two officers involved have a little over two years of experience with the Akron Police Department. Both officers were immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending results of an investigation, per department policy.

The Akron Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit will lead the investigation with the help of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Once the investigation is complete, it will be sent to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for review before it’s submitted to a grand jury.

A separate internal investigation will be conducted by the department’s office of professional standards and accountability. Body camera video will be released within seven days, according to city policy.

News 5 will update this story as more information becomes available.

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