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Barberton police fatally shoot man who charged at officers with knife

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-26 18:50:45-05

BARBERTON, Ohio — A 34-year-old man was shot and killed by Barberton police officer Monday morning after brandishing a knife and charging at officers.

According to the Barberton Police Department, the shooting happened around 9 a.m. in the 500 block of W. Hopocan Avenue.

Police responded to the area for a reported robbery. A woman told police a man was following and threatening her, but she was able to enter a nearby YMCA and dial 911.

Responding officers found the man in the parking lot. When officers approached him, police said he was brandishing a knife. After the suspect reportedly refused to drop the weapon, the 34-year-old man then charged at officers, prompting one of the officers to open fire, police said.

"Due to this lethal threat, one officer fired his weapon, striking the suspect once (in) the upper abdomen," authorities said.

Despite having been shot, the man refused to surrender his weapon and fought with police as they tried to handcuff him, authorities said.

EMS responded to the scene and rendered first aid. The man was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment but later died, authorities said.

Toni Amodio, who works at a business across the street from where the shooting happened, said she had just arrived at work a minute or two after the police action shooting happened.

"I’m glad I didn’t see it all. That’s traumatizing," Amodio said. "It is traumatizing to even know that it happened that close. It's just sad. I feel for everybody."

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The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, per department policy. Ohio BCI was called in to assist in the investigation and agents spent several hours on scene.

Police said the preliminary investigation shows the suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Zachary Zoran of Akron, had a felony warrant out for his arrest. Cuyahoga Falls police secured the arrest warrant on Sunday. Zoran was charged with aggravated menacing after threatening to kill a family member on Christmas.

Barberton police also said Zoran made several threatening social media posts over the past 24 hours in which he reportedly threatened to harm the public, police and officers' families.

One of the posts stated he "always ride strapped. I always have multiple weapons. Knifes, guns, brass knuckles."

The man has prior arrests for domestic violence, carrying concealed weapons, endangering children and aggravated trafficking in drugs, police said.

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