CLEVELAND — The fatal shooting of off-duty Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek has been classified as a line-of-duty death as he utilized police training to try and subdue his assailant during a carjacking on New Year's Eve, according to the city of Cleveland.
Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb made the announcement alongside Cleveland Director of Public Safety Karrie Howard and Cleveland Chief of Police Dornat "Wayne" A. Drummond.
"Officer Shane Bartek's life was taken in a senseless act of gun violence," Howard said. "And like every light that is taken by gun violence in our city, it caused a ripple through city hall and through all the citizens alike and we share our concern and our sympathies."
A preliminary investigation indicates an individual with a gun approached Bartek in the parking lot of an apartment building near the intersection of Fairway and Rocky River drives in the city's Kamms Corner neighborhood. Bartek was shot during a struggle. At the time of the shooting, the City of Cleveland confirmed to News 5 that Bartek was off-duty.
Drummond was tasked with investigating Bartek's death. He reviewed footage of the shooting and concluded that Bartek utilized training he received from the Cleveland Police Academy to try and disarm the shooter.
"Obviously during that incident, unfortunately, officer Bartek was killed," Drummond said. "Our conclusion in the review was that it was a line of duty death."
Bartek was assigned to the 5th District and worked patrol, sources tell News 5. He was hired by the Cleveland Division of Police in August 2019.
"I want to again, just thank the police department as well as our law department for their thorough review into the tragic, tragic death of officer Shane Bartek," Bibb said. "And as the son of a cop, I recognize the important sacrifice that law enforcement and their families make to keep our communities safe and secure. And again, let's keep the family of Shane Bartek in all of our prayers as we mourn his loss."
Cleveland City Council President Blaine A. Griffin released the following statement regarding the city's decision.
"The decision to declare Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek as a “line of duty” death is the right decision. Safety officers and public servants are never really off duty. The financial aid to Officer Bartek’s family, while a help, doesn’t in anyway alleviate or make up for the loss of their beloved son and friend."
On Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered U.S. and Ohio flags to be flown at half-staff at all public buildings and grounds throughout Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Statehouse, The Vern Riffe Center, and the Rhodes State Office Tower to honor Bartek. The flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset on Jan. 11, the day of his funeral.
Elsewhere in the community, businesses and local organizations are showing their own ways to honor and support Officer Shane Bartek and his family.
A little more than a dozen people marched down Ivanhoe Road in Cleveland Wednesday evening, waving flags and standing with officers as a sign of support for Officer Bartek.
“Anyone can be a victim in this city,” Ward 8 councilman Michael Polensek said. “We have violence predators roaming our streets and they need to be apprehended and they need to be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.”
The march was organized by Black on Black Crime Inc., Father’s Lives Matter, the Peacemakers, Peace in the Hood, Black Man’s Army, and Survivors/Victims of Tragedy Inc.
“I’m still in shock; it affected and affects the whole community,” Dorothy Walwyn, the vice president of Father Lives Matter said. “We are going to honor this officer.”
While one part of the community marched in the streets, others are making a difference online and in-person on Thursday.
In a matter of days, a spokesperson with LUNA in Berea said more than 1,000 orders poured in for shirts honoring Officer Shane Bartek, with the proceeds going directly to his family.
And on Thursday from 3 p.m. - 11 p.m., 100% of all sales will go toward the Bartek family at Beerhead Bar & Eatery in Cleveland’s Flats neighborhood, where Bartek worked security and was a friend to many of the staff there.
“He was the best example of all of us,” Garren Bohler, general manager, said. “He was loved and that all the people he cared about, cared just as much for him.”
CLICK HERE to read more of News 5's coverage of Shane Bartek.
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