NewsLocal News


'I don't want to shoot you': Barberton Police release body camera video of officer shooting knife-wielding man

Posted at 4:09 PM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 19:02:51-05

BARBERTON, Ohio — New video obtained by News 5 Friday shows what happened during a deadly altercation between a man armed with a knife in a confrontation with two Barberton police officers last month.

The shooting happened around 9 a.m. on Dec. 26 in the 500 block of W. Hopocan Avenue.

Police responded to the area for an attempted robbery. Police said a man a had followed a woman and demanded she hand over her car keys and other belongings. She was able get away and enter a nearby YMCA and call 911.

Body camera footage of the event shows responding officers locate the man, later identified as Zachary Zoran, of Akron, walking through a parking lot. As police approach him, he turns around and pulls out a knife.

The officer tells him to drop the knife. Zoran responds, "no" and walks away in a different direction.

Both officers tell Zoran to drop the weapon, or he will get shot. Zoran walks backward a few paces and then turns to walk from police.

One of the officers can be heard saying, "Drop the knife. All we want to do is talk to you."

Moments later, Zoran turns and aggressively moved towards the other officer as police back away.

The two officers told Zoran to drop the knife nearly two dozen times prior to one of the officers fired a single shot.

"Drop the knife, or I'm going to shoot you," one of the officers says as Zoran moves towards him, weapon in hand.

Zoran shouts at the officer to go back to his car.

The officer walks backward away from Zoran as he continues towards him.

"I don't want to shoot you," the officer says.

The video shows Zoran turn from that officer and start heading towards the other, who fires a shot, striking him once in the torso.

Initially, after the shooting, the officers are unable to approach Zoran because he's still armed, according to the body camera video. After being shot, Zoran is again warned by the officers nearly a dozen more times to drop the weapon.

Eventually, they approach Zoran. The body camera video shows Zoran appearing to briefly struggle with one of the officers.

"Please drop the knife so we can help you," one officer says as he walks up to Zoran.

Zoran struggles against the officer's efforts to put his hands behind his back.

"Stop...God...Stop so we can help you, please. Stop, we want to help you," the officer says.

Zoran replies, "No you don't."

"Yes, we do. All we want to do is talk to you. Please stop, OK?" the officer says. "Let us help you, OK? Please stop."

Moments later, police cut the man's clothing off and find a single gunshot wound in his abdomen.

EMS arrives within several minutes to transport Zoran to a nearby hospital where he later dies.

According to police, Zoran had prior arrests for domestic violence, carrying concealed weapons, endangering children and aggravated trafficking in drugs. He also had an active felony warrant issued for his arrest out of Cuyahoga Falls on an aggravated menacing charge for threatening to kill a family member at Christmas. In the day prior to the shooting, Zoran made multiple social media posts in which he reportedly threatened to harm the public, police and officers' families.

The two officers involved were placed on administrative duty, per Barberton PD's policy. BCI is assisting with the shooting investigation.

RELATED: Barberton police fatally shoot man who charged at officers with knife

Barberton police fatally shoot man who charged at officers with knife

Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.