Cleveland officers named in fatal police-involved shooting on city's west side

Posted at 11:25 AM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 17:28:15-04

Cleveland police have released the names of the five officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man who sought to harm his former girlfriend. 

Sgt. Daniel Jopek, 45, and officer Rafael Carrucini, 35, both fired shots at Jeffrey James Findlay Sunday after he refused to drop his weapon, according to a police news release. 

Findlay, 30, was shot several times in the backyard of a home on Mapledale Avenue after he pointed a gun at his ex-girlfriend following a breakup. 

The woman and a nearby neighbor were both able to escape and tell police where Findlay was.

Three other officers — Theresa Cavett, 32; Alan Soros, 33; and Michael Correa, 26 — were involved in the shooting but did not fire their weapons. 

News 5 looked into the officers and found that one of them has pulled the deadly trigger twice before. 

Sgt. Jopek has been on the force for 17 years and this is his third deadly force investigation.  

The last two investigations were within just about a year of each other, just a few years after Cleveland police hired him. 

According to News 5 archives, in 2002, Sgt. Jopek and his partner pulled over Stephon Moore on the allegations of driving drunk. Moore reportedly drove toward them and shots were fired.

The City of Cleveland ruled that the shots were justified but city officials later settled a lawsuit with the family.

About a year and a half later, Sgt. Jopek was involved in another fatal shooting during a traffic stop. 

On East 185th Street, Stanley Strnad reportedly sped from the stop, hit four cars and ran from police. 

That's when Sgt. Jopek chased him, shooting Strnad four times.

Sgt. Jopek faced reckless homicide charges in a federal case brought on by Strnad's family but the charges were dropped when a jury cleared Jopek, after he testified that Strnad reached into his waistband and charged at him.

Strnad was unarmed.

While researching Jopek, News 5 also found that in 2015 he was a member of a crew awarded the distinguished law enforcement valor award for risking his life to rescue a quadriplegic man from his burning car after a crash.

All of the officers involved in Sunday's shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave.

RELATED: Man dies in officer-involved shooting on Cleveland's west side