I-Team exclusive video: Bystander fires shots at traffic stop

PARMA, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained exclusive video of a wild scene after a Parma police officer made a traffic stop, and a man with a concealed weapons permit opened fire on the driver speeding away.

It happened Tuesday night. The video shows an officer pull over a man he had seen driving recklessly. As that happened, a man in a Jeep rolled up to the scene and also blocked in that other driver. As an officer shouted to the driver to turn off the car, that driver rammed the Jeep, and the officer got into a struggle trying to stop him from driving off. And at that moment, the citizen who’d pulled up in the Jeep opened fire. He fired four shots.

The officer didn’t know anything about the man with the gun, and before finding out, he left to chase down the suspect he had first pulled over. The officer arrested Shon Burton.

Meantime, police say they later found the citizen gunman holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and he got involved because he wanted to help.

Parma police say they appreciate help, but citizens can’t just jump into police matters and pull a gun.

Sergeant Dan Ciryak said, "Citizens should use caution.” He added, "Even if they have a permit the officer doesn’t know what their intention is, so when they pull that gun out, it depends on the officer's perception at the time."

Ciryak pointed out, the citizen easily could have been shot by the officer especially since everything happened in seconds.

Serious felony charges have been filed against Shon Burton, the driver police pulled over and had to chase down. But no charges have been filed against that citizen firing the shots. At least not yet. A prosecutor or grand jury will decide if he should end up facing charges, too.

The I-Team spoke to the citizen gunman by phone. He said, “For my safety, the officer’s safety, I had to fire the gun at that moment. I acted out of fear to stop the car without the officer getting hurt.” He added,

“The intent was to shoot the vehicle rather that the suspect.”

We didn’t identify the citizen since no charges have been filed against him at this time.

But the video captures a traffic stop with street justice and a chain of events investigators are still sorting out.

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