PARMA, Ohio — Two men were killed in a shooting outside of Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in Parma early Saturday morning—one of whom was working as a security guard for the bar, according to the Parma Police Department.
Around 2:13 a.m., officers were called to the bar located on Pearl Road for a report of a shooting.
Once on scene, officers found two men, both with multiple gunshot wounds.
Sean Acierno, 29, was walking through the parking lot of the bar when he was shot. He died as a result of his injuries, police said.
Timoteo “Tim” Cruz, 27, an off-duty Cuyahoga County Corrections Officer with a valid CCW permit, was working as a security guard for the bar. After Acierno was shot, Cruz returned fire at the shooter, striking him.
Police said the shooter gunned down Cruz and crawled into a getaway vehicle after being hit by a bullet fired by Cruz.
Cruz also died as a result of his injuries.
Parma police commended Cruz’s heroic actions in firing at and striking the shooter, saying he “most likely saved additional lives while giving up his own life as other bar patrons were still in the area or exiting the bar.”
By 12 p.m., officers had arrested a 27-year-old man and his 30 year-old-brother in connection with the shooting. Both men are facing two counts of aggravated murder, police said.
The weapon used in the shooting was an AR-15 and multiple shell casings were found at the scene. The weapon was later recovered by police.
Parma police were assisted in the apprehension of the two men and the execution of search warrants by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, the High Intensity Drug Task Force, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office and the Southwest Enforcement Bureau.
Cuyahoga County Sheriff Christopher Viland issued the following statement regarding the death of Cruz:
It was with great sadness this morning that the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department received word of the untimely death of one of our own. Corrections Officer Timoteo C. Cruz was the victim of a homicide in the City of Parma in the early morning hours.
We would like to extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his family and those who were close to him. No words can ease the loss to those remaining.
While we will not have any comments on the incident, or the currently ongoing criminal investigation, it appears from information we have at this time that Officer Cruz was killed while actively protecting the lives of innocent people. There is no more honorable of a path than to have sacrificed in the service of others.
Officer Cruz has been an employee with the Sheriff’s Department since September of 2017 and has earned the trust and respect of those he worked with. Grief counseling and mental health services have already been initiated and been made available to corrections staff and the jail’s inmate population.
The Parma Police Department will be continuing the investigation into the incident and any requests for information regarding it should be referred to their offices. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department will be providing all assistance possible as the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of those responsible continues.
There is currently no available information regarding funeral or memorial services. We would ask that the family be given the space and time to privately grieve and deal with this tragedy.