Barberton father shot in the face moments after pulling minivan into driveway, suspect on the run

Police say robbery attempt appears to be random
Posted at 5:05 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 18:27:31-05

A Barberton father is counting his blessings after he was shot in the face during an apparent robbery attempt outside his home.

Chris Berry, 43, was shot in the cheek just after midnight on Oct. 31. The .40-caliber bullet tore through soft tissue on the left side of his face and took off a portion of his ear lobe.

Berry, who is married with three daughters, said the round missed major arteries and nerves and he's extremely grateful that he survived a shooting that police believe was random.

"My faith in God. I know that he was with me. Had I not turned to face him at that moment, I know I wouldn't be here," Berry said.

Berry recounted the horrifying moments to News 5 during an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

That evening, he watched Game 5 of the World Series at a friend's home. After the game ended, Berry headed to his Barberton home on 21st St. NW.

He pulled his car into the driveway and then grabbed his wife's keys so he could move her minivan out of the street.

Moments after he pulled the minivan into the driveway, a young man wearing a black hoodie appeared at the driver's side door and shot Berry.

"I turned to face him, just as I saw a hand come up, and the gun couldn't have been more than 8 to 12 inches from my face when it went off," Berry recalled. "I saw the muzzle flash and I knew instantly I had been shot."

The gunman ran north on 21st St. and was last seen going east on W. Tuscarawas Ave.

Stunned and in pain, Berry was still able to realize how lucky he was to be alive.

"The thought went through my head, 'You're dead. You were just shot in the face.' But I realized, 'You're still breathing. My ear hurt like the dickens.'"

Berry said after the shooting he went inside his home to check on his wife and children.

His oldest daughter called 911, while Berry used a paper towel as a compress to control the bleeding.

Lt. Brian Jamison believes the incident was a crime of opportunity and the suspect may have been trying to steal the victim's wallet or vehicle.

"Anyone who would walk up to a person just getting out of their car at night and shoot him in the face, very dangerous person that we'd like to get captured," Jamison said.

Since it was dark, Berry didn't get a clear look at the person responsible but said he appeared to be a black man between the ages of 16 and 22 and was between 5-foot 10 inches and 6 feet tall. He was wearing all black with the hood up.

Berry had surgery to reattach part of his ear lobe and has more than 60 stitches on his face. He's also experiencing ringing in his ears, but he doesn't appear to have any hearing loss.

While he continues to recover, Berry hopes someone will turn in the shooter.

"I'd like to see him caught and brought to justice and answer for what he did."

Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to $2,000 for information that solves the shooting.

Tipsters can remain anonymous when calling 330-434-COPS.