Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

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CLEVELAND --  An off-duty Cleveland police officer was involved in a shooting that left one man dead.

Police say the incident began in the parking lot of Wilbert's Bar on Bolivar Avenue in Cleveland, around 2:50 a.m. Saturday.

Cleveland Police Sgt. Sammy Morris says an off-duty officer witnessed a fight and then saw a man in a gold Saturn discharge a gun, firing multiple times.

Sgt. Morris says the officer radioed police and chased the car on foot going north on East 9th Street. "At East 9th and Prospect, the vehicle was stopped by a marked 3rd District zone car with uniformed officers," Sgt. Morris noted.

Police ordered the three men to get out of the vehicle. Morris said two complied, but the front seat passenger did not. He says the off-duty officer kicked out the window in an attempt to get the male out of the car. "He still didn't comply, and while in the vehicle, the officer observed a handgun and observed the suspect reach for the handgun, at which time he discharged his weapon, hitting the suspect," Sgt. Morris said.

Morris said the off-duty officer fired one shot, killing the man.  He has been identified as 20-year-old Kenneth Smith, of Euclid. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Saturday that Smith died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Sgt. Morris said the off-duty officer made no mistake in what he saw: "He saw the gun in the parking lot when someone from the vehicle was discharging a weapon. He saw the gun again once the vehicle was stopped."

Sgt. Morris said police did recover a gun in the vehicle.

Police say the officer involved in the fatal shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues.

No other information about the officer is being released at this time. Police did arrest the two other males in the car, but have not indicated what charges they may be facing.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Cleveland Police Department.

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