Cleveland police officer shot in city’s Central neighborhood

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An on-duty Cleveland police officer is recovering after he was shot twice Tuesday night near the city’s Central neighborhood.

According to Chief Wayne Drummond, the shooting happened around 6:20 p.m. near East 28th and Cedar Avenue.

“It just sent chills through me. I was at home with my family eating dinner,” said Drummond. “To get that particular news... obviously I got over to the hospital as soon as possible to make sure that he was okay.”

Police said the incident began when two detectives investigating Kia and Hyundai thefts spotted what they believed to be a stolen Kia.

When the approached the car, four suspects ran, police following shortly behind.

As they were running, police said one of the suspects dropped a weapon, which one of the officers picked it up and put it in his car.

As he was getting back out, the officer said another suspect in a bright orange jacket fired approximately four shots at him.

Late Tuesday, police released a photo of two of the men, including the suspect wearing the orange jacket.

The officer, described by Drummond as a four-year veteran of the force, was reportedly shot twice, once in the arm and once in the leg. His injuries appear to be non-life threatening.

“I thank God, it [was] a sigh of relief to find out he was okay,” Drummond said during a news conference. “We talked with his wife and his mother. Just really relieved that he’s doing well.”

Two officers responding to the incident were able to bandage his wounds and transport him quickly to the hospital.

According to police, none of their officers fired their weapon during the incident.

Jeff Follmer, the head of the police union, told 19 News outside the hospital the officer was “stable.”

“Thank God it went right through,” he said. “He’s with his family. We just hope for a speedy recovery.”

Follmer also expressed concern over officer safety.

“It’s lawless in Cleveland right now. It’s scary for some of our officers right now,” he said.

Follmer, Drummond and Mayor Justin Bibb all visited the wounded officer at MetroHealth Medical Center.

“I would like to thank all of our first responders who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our community,” Bibb said in a statement. “I also thank the staff at Metrohealth Medical Center for quickly assisting and treating this officer.”

“While my main concern tonight is for the wellbeing of the officer and his family, I must also once again condemn the gun violence we are seeing in our city. We are doing everything in our power to bring perpetrators of this violence to justice as we seek to change dangerous policies that have given rise to the proliferation of guns on our streets. The violence must stop,” Mayor Bibb said.

Officers responding the the scene reported another cruiser being hit as they were headed to the scene.

The car that hit them stopped and cooperated, and is not believed to be involved in the initial incident.

Two officers in the car at the time were also taken to Metro.

Police said the investigation is still ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cleveland police at 216-621-1234 or Crimestoppers at 216-25-CRIME.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.