SOLON, Ohio — Nazir Clemons, 23, is still in shock about the events leading up to the deadly police pursuit that ended in a fatal crash in Solon.
The crash occurred on Dec. 3 after Solon officers observed a 2012 Ford Fusion traveling east on Solon Road near Erico Drive that, after confirming with dispatch, was determined to be stolen at gunpoint out of Cleveland.
Clemons was the owner of the car. He said it happened on Dec. 2 while he was parked outside of a restaurant on Clark Avenue in Cleveland.
It was a typical night for the insurance agent, he said.
“I just got off work. I typically do a little bit of GrubHub for extra money right after work. The order was really late, like 20 minutes late, and i was just about to cancel it. Unlucky right?” he said.
Clemons said it was around 7 p.m. at night and there were several people around when a man knocked on his car window.
“He knocks on my window really hard. I look over and he’s pointing a gun at me and gesturing me to get out. So, I’m like okay, and I put my hands up and get out of the car.”
He said he figured he was about to lose his car, but is still confused over what happened next.
“Another guy runs up from the same direction. When he came up with the gun I thought he was just going to clear out my pockets too, make sure he gets everything from me, then take off with my car but immediately as soon as I saw him running up, he shot,” Clemons said.
He’s not sure how many times the man shot at him.
“The first few shots I’m like ‘Oh God, he’s going to kill me,’ right? I think that this is over. It just didn’t feel right, like I’m going to die here.”
The two left in his car, but almost immediately after he said a Cleveland police officer was there applying pressures to his wounds.
“They were right there. Who knows how much worse it could’ve been,” Clemons said.
He was rushed to the hospital for an emergency surgery.
“Everything is going through my head. I’m like 'I just got shot, they took my car, what is going on? Why did they shoot me?,'” Clemons said.
Amazingly, just a week later, he is back at home. He’s in a lot of pain, with a bullet still lodged in his hip, but he is healing.
“Things can change really quickly and you have no control over it,” Clemons said.
The day after Clemons was shot and his car was stolen, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the stolen vehicle but it fled and led police on a pursuit.
During the pursuit, an officer decided to deploy Stop Sticks. According to police, the stolen car attempted to avoid the Stop Sticks and the driver lost control, crashing into two other vehicles before leaving the roadway.
A 19-year-old man from Berea and a 20-year-old man from Cleveland were inside of the Ford and were taken into custody following the crash and transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
An 85-year-old woman who was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition. The woman, identified as Sally Schultz, later died from her injuries.
Clemons added that he feels awful for the woman who lost her life due to the reckless decisions of the suspects, but said he refuses to live in fear.
“They’re just going to spend the rest of their lives in prison because they made stupid decisions at a young age 19, 20. For the rest of their life, they may be locked up and how could that ever be worth it? Just find a better route in life.”
Clemons is just trying to get back on his feet, but with mounting medical bills and no car, he said he’s in the hole. There’s been a GoFundMe Page started for Clemons. To learn more, click here.
The 19-year-old driver of the Ford, Jaymarlon Hayes, of Berea, was indicted by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on Wednesday, charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of aggravated vehicular assault, carrying a concealed weapon and failure to comply with order or signal of police officer—all of which are felonies.
The 20-year-old passenger of the Ford has been stabilized and remains in the hospital under the watch of the Cleveland Police Department. Police said he will be charged once he is medically cleared for release.
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