Police on Shooting: No Time to Ask ‘Is That a Real Gun?’

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AKRON — University of Akron’s police chief told FOX 8 News that a 64-year-old man, who was killed during a traffic stop, had a pellet gun.

The chief said the gun looked like a 45 caliber semi-automatic.

A University of Akron officer fired his weapon during a traffic stop Thursday morning, according to The University of Akron.

Around 11 a.m., the officer pulled over the vehicle on Wolf Ledges Road near the Akron Main Post Office for improper registration.

When the officer asked the man for his driver’s license and registration, the officer said it appeared the driver pulled out a handgun, which turned out to be a pellet gun.

That’s when the officer fired at the driver.

Chief of University of Akron Police Paul Callahan said,  “Officers aren’t in a position to ask, is that a real gun you are pointing at me?  You know; they’ve got to respond when those things happen and anybody in that situation would have done the same thing.”

The driver was killed. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office said the man’s name was James Genda.

The officer was not injured. He will be placed on administrative leave. A University of Akron spokeswoman said the officer will not be identified. He has been with the force for more than a decade.

Authorities say the officer was patrolling within his jurisdiction. There is a joint area where both The University of Akron Police Department and City of Akron Police Department share jurisdiction.

Both The University of Akron Police and City of Akron Police are on the scene.

The incident is still under investigation.

Quote from Paul Callahan chief of u of a police.  “Officers aren’t in a position to ask is that a real gun you are pointing at me?  You know they’ve got to respond when those things happen and anybody in that situation would have done the same thing”

(FOX 8’s Dave Nethers, Kevin Freeman and Lou Maglio contributed to this report.)

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