Officer-involved shooting ruled 'justified'

Posted at 5:38 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 17:54:28-04

A review was completed and concluded that Police Officer Greg Patterson was reasonable and justified in his use of deadly force when he shot and killed Carlumandarlo Zaramo on Dec. 6, 2015, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

Officials said evidence presented to a Grand Jury resulted in its members agreeing that Patterson's actions were "objectively reasonable and justified in the light of the events of that evening."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty sent a letter to Richmond Heights Police Chief Gene P. Rowe on Friday that stated:

“Officer Greg Patterson is to be commended for responding with courage and for heroically fulfilling his duty to protect and serve his fellow officer and the citizens of Richmond Heights.”

Authorities reported Patterson was one of four Richmond Heights officers who responded to a 911 call from Zaramo's wife on Dec. 6, 2015. She reported that her husband had a gun and was threatening to kill himself. She said she and her 11-year-old son left their home. 

After police arrived, police made a phone call to Zaramo, who let officers inside his home. Police persuaded him to see a doctor. Zaramo asked to get some warmer clothes before they left for the hospital. An officer led Zaramo to his closet on the second floor, and that is when Zaramo reached up to a shelf and pulled down a pistol. The officer tried to wrestle the gun from Zaramo and was shot.

Patterson, who was standing in the doorway of the closet, drew his gun and fired six shots at Zaramo. Zaramo died from the shooting. 

The officer that was shot was rushed to the hospital. He suffered multiple injuries, including broken ribs and damage to his right lung and liver.

The shooting was investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Evidence was turned over to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Evidence was also presented to the grand jury for a final determination on whether criminal charges were warranted.

Both the Prosecutor’s Office and the grand jury concluded that given the situation, Patterson was justified in his use of deadly force.

“Officer Patterson could have taken cover or fled and left Sergeant Gerl to be killed by Mr. Zaramo’s second or third shot,” McGinty wrote to Rowe. “Given Mr. Zaramo’s use of deadly force against another officer, Officer Patterson used the only alternative that would save Sergeant Gerl’s life. This shooting was necessary and justified.”