The Parma Heights detective who was shot in the leg during a traffic stop Wednesday evening underwent surgery Thursday morning, and is expected to fully recover, according to officials. The driver who shot the detective was shot by police and later died at a nearby hospital.
Detective Luke Berry, 25, has been with the Parma Heights Police Department for four years and has been a detective for one year, according to Acting Chief Steve Scharschmidt. The bullet shattered Berry’s femur and fractured the top of his kneecap.
Berry is a “very positive person” who is shaken up by what happened, but is ready to start the recovery process, Scharschmidt said.
The Parma Police Department is working with special agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations to reconstruct the events leading up to the shooting at the corner of Stumph and Huffman roads in Parma.
During the incident, Berry, who was assisting Parma police officer Peter Shepetiak with the traffic stop, was shot by 29-year-old Jonathan Legg, according to a Parma Police news release. Berry and Shepetiak returned fire and struck Legg several times.
"What we've gathered from the family, it sounds like he did carry a weapon everywhere," Scharschmidt said about Legg. "And he didn't have a permit to carry it, so that's strange he would always have a weapon on him, so I don't know if there was some type of paranoia, that's just speculation on my part, but obviously he carried a weapon for a reason."
When Legg got out of his car to talk with Shepetiak, police said Berry noticed a .40 handgun tucked into Legg's waistband. Police said Shepetiak grabbed Legg to keep him from grabbing the gun, but Legg began shooting, hitting Berry.
Court records show Legg's only run-ins with police came when he was ticketed for speeding in 2015 and pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia in 2007. He was also evicted from an apartment in October 2017 after his landlord said he failed to pay rent.
Scharschmidt described Berry as "well-respected" and "well-trained."
Shepetiak is a six-year veteran of the Parma Police Department assigned to the traffic unit, the release said. He sustained injuries during the incident and is recovering.
Both officers were placed on administrative leave, per protocol.