AKRON, Ohio — Jayland Walker, the Akron man shot by police after a pursuit Monday that ended in a parking lot of the Bridgestone campus, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office. Walker, 25, was shot multiple times. The manner of his death has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said.
Wednesday afternoon, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett issued a joint statement offering sincere condolences to those who knew Walker and saying more information about what happened will be forthcoming soon.
“We know that no police officer ever wants to discharge their service weapon in the line of duty. And anytime they must, it's a dark day for our city, for the families of those involved, as well as for the officers. Tragically, we are once again faced with a young man, with his life before him, gone too soon. Every single life is precious, and the loss of any life is absolutely devastating to our entire community. Our prayers are with Jayland Walker’s loved ones, and we offer our sincere condolences to all those who knew him. Our thoughts are also with our Akron police officers and their families.
We want to reassure our citizens that more information will be coming in the following days, including the body-worn camera footage that recorded this incident. We are keeping our promise to the community, understanding that there can be no trust without transparency and follow-through on commitment.
We have every confidence in the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation to conduct a thorough, fair, and honest investigation. We will cooperate fully with that investigation and have made it a top priority for our staffs. As a city, we are committed to this process and trust that it will yield a fuller understanding of this incident.”
According to News 5 media partner Akron Beacon Journal, which was permitted to look over an investigative worksheet for the case Wednesday at the medical examiner’s office, “the worksheet indicated that Walker was observed laying on his back and was in handcuffs when a medical examiner investigator arrived at the shooting scene.”
Walker was shot in the face, abdomen and upper legs, according to the report. A weapon was recovered from his vehicle, according to the Beacon Journal. Authorities didn't say how many times Walker had been shot.
A pastor and family member of Walker said the family is grieving and that he was a good person.
"The family is still trying to wrap their arms around this. He was not that kid," Robert DeJournett, pastor at St. Ashworth Temple in Akron told News 5. "Jayland didn't even have a parking ticket...Jayland had the biggest soul."
Dejournett said the family will speak at a later date.
Captain Dave Laughlin, of the Akron Police Department, said it all started after midnight Monday when two officers were trying to stop a car on Tallmadge Avenue in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood.
Within a few seconds of being on Route 8, officers said a firearm was discharged from Walker’s vehicle.
Officers pursued him down Route 8 and I-77 where he exited into the Firestone Park Area before jumping out and fleeing on foot, heading northbound through a grassy area into a parking lot at Bridgestone.
According to Laughlin, Walker's actions "caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them," and officers opened fire in response, striking Walker.
The entire incident lasted just minutes.
“From the time they called out it out about four and a half minutes,” said Laughlin.
Watch our previous report on the shooting below:
Laughlin said officers didn’t see a weapon but heard a gunshot or multiple gunshots from the car on the entrance ramp of Route 8.
Body and dash camera video is now under review and expected to be released to the public by Sunday.
The officers were placed on paid administrative leave.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation.
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