CLEVELAND — A fugitive who had been tracked by law enforcement agents from New Mexico to Steelyard Commons was shot by authorities, police say, when he pulled a gun in the parking lot of the busy shopping center.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, Safety Director Karrie Howard and Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer were on scene and gave brief statements about the incident, which occurred on Friday afternoon.
Those officials did not give many specifics about the suspect or the shooting, and they did not take questions -- questions such as why law enforcement attempted to apprehend a violent criminal they had good reason to believe was armed in a busy shopping center in the middle of the day.
Williams said that shortly before noon, members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force tracked a violent fugitive to the parking lot. They attempted to apprehend the man, later identified as 31-year-old Dewayne Taylor, and he pulled a weapon. Shots were fired. Williams did not say if Taylor fired shots at officers. He said the only injury was to Taylor.
A bullet-riddled SUV was spotted at the scene and the incident sent some shoppers ducking for cover.
One witness told News 5 it all happened very quickly. Another said she could have easily been caught in the crossfire.
EMS confirmed it transported a 31-year-old male to a nearby hospital.
Taylor's condition is unknown at this time but police said he sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Elliott said Taylor was a violent fugitive wanted out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and that the U.S. Marshals Service had tracked him out of New Mexico. While in New Mexico, Elliot said Taylor had pulled a gun on task force members there a few days before he made his way to Cleveland.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Cleveland City Council members said they were told Taylor "had a lengthy, violent record that included armed robbery."
Council members also said Taylor had "some personal relationships" with people in Cleveland.
Police said they recovered a gun at the scene.
Howard said that it was a collaborative effort between local and federal law enforcement to "take a fugitive off the street who was willing to put lives at risk, again, in broad daylight in one of the busiest shopping centers in the city of Cleveland," Howard said. "That's a success for our collaboration."
In their statement, members of council said they expected a "transparent investigation of the shooting and of those law enforcement officers involved" as well as how the man was tracked to Steelyard Commons.
Vehicle with what look like bullet holes in the windshield at scene of the shooting at Steelyard Commons Walmart in #Cleveland. Police and US Marshal’s Task Force on scene. Waiting for briefing from investigators. @WEWS #WEWS pic.twitter.com/QdjLvQWWsF— Scott Noll (@ScottNoll_News) December 11, 2020
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