NewsLocal NewsSummit County

Actions

Authorities identify man killed during SWAT standoff that injured officer

Posted: 8:28 AM, Feb 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-08 21:05:07-05
IMG_2411.jpg
Charles L. Cook.png

NEW FRANKLIN, Ohio — Authorities have announced the identity of a man who was killed in a police standoff that also injured an officer in New Franklin Friday.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the man as Charles Cook, from Menlo Court in New Franklin. According to court records, Cook has a history criminal activity, including burglary, violating a protection order and aggravated vehicular assault.

Cook was shot during the exchange of gunfire. Tactical medics treated him at the residence, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The standoff started as a domestic violence incident at around 7 p.m., according to the news release.

Cook had barricaded himself with a loaded handgun inside a bedroom at the residence.

For three hours officers tried to talk to Cook into coming outside to surrender.

Members from the Barberton Area SWAT Team, which is comprised of members from the New Franklin, Norton and Barberton police departments, arrived around 10 p.m.

"Scary, ya know, this is a quiet neighborhood," said neighbor Paul Anderson. "Kids are always out here playing. Nobody bothers anybody and then this last night, just unbelievable."

Police continued to talk to the man, who refused to come out of the residence.

At around 3 a.m., 36-year-old SWAT team member Brandon Watson from the Barberton Police Department, who is a 12-year veteran of the force, was struck in both legs by a round that was fired through a door by the 48-year-old man. Officials say Watson is an Army veteran, a husband, a father of four, a baseball coach and a Barberton native.

Other officers from the SWAT team returned fire and removed the injured officer from the scene.

"It's scary when you got people wanting to shoot police," Anderson said. "That's just unbelievable."

"We were really close," said Kathleen Cole, who identified herself as Charles' cousin. "He was like a brother to me."

She said he had a troubled past, but also a lot of stress in life. "I was really shocked," she said. "All I can say is he must not have been in his right mind."

A neighbor who did not want to be identified said he feared something bad could happen at that house. Last fall, a woman left the house and came to the neighbor for help.

""She came down and asked me to call the cops because she was being beaten and we ended up calling the cops," the neighbor said. "She didn't press charges or nothing."

The injured Barberton police officer was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital, where surgeries were performed Friday afternoon to remove the bullet and repair damage. He is currently in stable condition at the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation, along with the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, also responded to the scene and are investigating.

"What happened is what happened and we can't take that back," Kathleen Cole said. "I feel bad for the officer."