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Willowick PD: Erratic driver shoots officer, driver hospitalized after police return fire

Officer shot in bulletproof vest, expected to recover
Posted at 9:16 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 23:51:57-04

WILLOWICK, Ohio — A Willowick police officer was shot during a pursuit and returned fire on the shooter, according to Willowick Police Chief Brian Turner.

The Eastlake Police Department had received a call about an erratic driver who was possibly intoxicated on Friday. By the time the vehicle in question was located, it was in Willowick, Turner said.

Willowick police officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver refused to stop and ended up hitting another vehicle at the Bayridge Boulevard and Willowick Drive intersection, according to Turner. The driver of the vehicle hit was not injured.

The vehicle officers were pursuing stopped while traveling down Daniel Drive and fired shots at two Willowick police officers, striking one in his bulletproof vest, Turner said.

Turner said the officers then returned fire on the driver.

The officer who was struck is okay, Turner said. He has been on the force for about 17 years.

According to Turner, the other officer was not injured in the incident.

"Thank God the body armor stopped the round. I was able to speak with him when I got on scene before he went to the hospital. He's okay. Shaken up obviously but both of my guys are going to go home so that's really all I care about," Turner said.

The driver who fired shots at the officers was injured when officers returned fire. He was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center, but his identity and condition are unknown at this time, Turner said.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Crime Scene and Special Investigations units were called to the scene to investigate the shooting, according to state officials.

While BCI investigates the incident, Turner said that the Willowick Police Department will also be conducting an internal investigation.

“They’re going to take their time to make sure they don’t miss anything,” Turner said.

The shooting remains under investigation.