CLEVELAND — Cleveland Police Union President Jeff Follmer confirmed to News 5 that an off-duty Cleveland police officer was killed during a carjacking Friday evening.
The incident happened near the intersection of Fairway and Rocky River drives in the city's Kamms Corner neighborhood.
According to authorities, the officer, identified as 25-year-old Shane Bartek, was shot twice during the carjacking, and the shooter fled in his vehicle. Bartek was then transported to Fairview Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police said the preliminary investigation indicates an individual approached Bartek in the parking lot of an apartment building with a gun and Bartek was shot after a struggle ensued.
Bartek was assigned to the 5th District and worked patrol, sources tell News 5. He was hired with the Cleveland Division of Police in August of 2019.
Following the shooting, the U.S. Marshals Service joined in the search for the shooter and Bartek's vehicle. Around 10:25 p.m., Richmond Heights police joined the pursuit of the stolen vehicle, continuing the pursuit to the Riviera Apartments on Lakeshore Boulevard in Euclid.
The individual driving Bartek's vehicle crashed into a fence and wedged the vehicle between the fence post and a tree behind the apartment buildings. Richmond Heights police took the driver into custody without incident and charged him with fleeing, receiving stolen property and numerous other traffic related charges.
Police did not say the driver was charged with any crimes directly related to Bartek's death at this time, but his bond was set at $5 million at 10%.
On Saturday morning, authorities confirmed a female was taken into custody in connection with the incident, marking at least two people police have taken into custody.
Video below shows Bartek's vehicle being towed from the scene where the suspect was arrested.
City in mourning
Bartek was relatively new on the police force but a Northeast Ohio native, graduating from Berea-Midpark High School in 2015.
"The Titans community is deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy and our hearts go out to Shane Bartek's family, friends, and fellow officers," Berea City School District said.
City leaders also addressed Bartek's death, sending condolences to his family and friends.
"This is a very sad day. My heart is aching for the family, for our officers," said incoming Interim Cleveland Police Chief Dornat "Wayne" A. Drummond during a news conference outside of the hospital. "It just doesn't make any sense."
Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb also spoke, asking for the public's support during a difficult time.
"I just ask the residents of Cleveland to keep the family in your prayers," Bibb said.
Meanwhile, current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson issued his condolences to Bartek's family and fellow officers.
“My condolences to the family of Officer Shane Bartek as well as to his fellow officers in @CLEpolice. We will not forget Officer Bartek and his service to the citizens of Cleveland.” - Mayor Frank G. Jackson https://t.co/Sw4gizGiY0— City of Cleveland (@CityofCleveland) January 1, 2022
Cleveland Ward 17 Councilman Charles J. Slife issued a statement with his condolences:
"On behalf of the Ward 17 community, I extend our deepest condolences and sorrow to the victim's family and to the men and women of the division of police. Please keep the victim and them in your prayers," Slife said.
Cleveland City Council issued the following statement regarding Bartek's death:
Cleveland City Council grieves over the death of an off-duty Cleveland Police officer on New Year’s Eve.
The circumstances and the investigation are still underway. One suspect was arrested last night and an additional suspect has been arrested today.
The public is understandably upset about the recent rash in violent car jackings. We know that Cleveland Police is working diligently and expeditiously to arrest all those involved. We ask that the public also remains vigilant about their surroundings and to call the police in suspicious circumstances.
We offer our condolences to the officer’s family and friends, as well as to all those experiencing grief in this new year.
We will work with the incoming administration on bolstering our First Responders, who’ve gone through so much, including a pandemic.
Richmond Heights Mayor and Safety Director Kim Thomas issued a statement regarding the incident:
On behalf of our Richmond Hts community, I offer our deepest condolences to the Cleveland Police Officer and his family.
This is so UNACCEPTABLE. We ask our men and women in law enforcement to do a tough job. Their families and I expect for them to go home at night.
We are pleased we could help the Cleveland Police Department in their investigation of this tragic event.
Police have executed search warrants in connection with the incident.
The Cleveland Police Department is accepting donations to its Heroes Fund, which supports families of officers killed or seriously injured while in the line of duty. The funds previously helped the families of Detective James Skernivitz and Patrolman Nicholas Sabo. To learn more or donate click here.
A screen printing shop in Berea is also selling t-shirts in honor of Bartek with all proceeds going directly to the fallen officer's family to help cover funeral costs.
CrimeStoppers has offered a $10,000 reward for information involving the successful prosecution of the case. Anyone with a tip is urged to call 216-252-7463. You can also CLICK HERE to submit a tip.
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