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59-year-old man indicted for October shootout with Willowick police officers

Posted at 2:53 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 14:53:27-04

WILLOWICK, Ohio — The man involved in a shootout with the Willowick Police Department in October was indicted for attempted murder with a firearm specification among other charges, according to the Lake County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

A Lake County grand jury returned a 14-count indictment for 59-year-old Sam Stevens on Friday, court records show.

Stevens is accused of shooting Willowick Patrolman Ben Bruno during a pursuit that turned into a shootout.

On October 2, 2020, officers received reports of an erratic driver. Once the vehicle was located, they attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the vehicle continued driving.

The driver, Stevens, continued driving and struck another vehicle, causing it to overturn. The driver of that vehicle was not injured. Stevens continued driving but later stopped, grabbed a gun and fired it at the responding officers, police said.

Bruno, a 20-year member of the Willowick Police Department, was struck in the chest by Stevens’ gunfire but was wearing body armor, according to police. Bruno and Patrolman Mark Guerreiri both returned fire and struck Stevens, who was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition and treated.

Police said Bruno was taken to the hospital for evaluation but soon after was home.

Stevens was indicted on the following charges:

  • Two counts of attempted aggravated murder, with three firearm specifications on each
  • Two counts of attempted murder, with three firearm specifications on each
  • Two counts of felonious assault, with three firearm specifications on each
  • Discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises, with two firearm specifications
  • Resisting arrest, with two firearm specifications
  • Two counts of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle
  • Carrying concealed weapons
  • Failure to comply with order or signal of police officer
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them
  • Using weapons while intoxicated

Stevens is currently being held without bond.

RELATED: Officer back home, suspect in stable condition following weekend shootout in Willowick