Mylett says officers were on patrol when they heard gunfire from a neighborhood near Longview Drive and Manchester Road.
The officers went onto Longview Drive where they encountered a group of young men in an open lot.
Larry Seeley was across the street when he says the officers rolled up and got out of their patrol car.
“They (the young men) immediately, as soon as the officers got out of their cruiser, all but one immediately got down on their knees and put their hands in the air,” said Seeley.
Chief Mylett said a 16-year-old had a gun in his hand.
“At one point, it appears that one of the individuals, a 16-year-old male, raised his arm with a handgun in it, pointed it at one of the officers and the officer discharged his firearm, striking the young man in his hand,” said Mylett.
The teenager was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital where he was later released to the custody of his parents.
“In the moment, the officer doesn’t know that this person is 16 or pick your age, doesn’t know anything about the person whatsoever but all they know is that there is a gun pointed at them and they have a right to protect themselves, protect their partner and protect the community,” said Mylett.
The incident is the third police involved shooting in Akron since the fatal shooting of Jayland Walker in late June.
It happens with the department very much under a microscope from the community for its use of deadly force.
“Our officers are frequently put in situations, as are officers across this country but I can testify to officers in Akron, so many times when under law that they are justified to use deadly force and they don’t do it because they want to do it. They don’t want to shoot anybody. They want to give that individual every opportunity to change the dynamics of the contact so the officer doesn’t have to use deadly force and most of the time, that’s how it ends,” said Mylett.
It also happened in a community where residents say the sound of gunfire is a daily occurrence.
“It’s got to the point pretty much where you hear gunshots on a daily basis in your neighborhood and to me, unless I’m hearing somebody screaming that they have been shot or screaming for help, I tend to ignore it because it just seems to be a norm anymore,” said Seeley.
It also happened in a neighborhood where 8-year-old Mikayla Pickett was shot and killed in August of 2000, an incident that is still very much on the minds of residents there.
It raises additional serious questions about teenagers with guns.
“It’s throughout the city and it’s not just the city of Akron. We see this play out so many times in places across the country. The individuals that we are encountering with firearm are getting younger and younger,” said Mylett. “Just last week, we had a 13 and a 16-year-old that robbed an individual, I believe in a park, and they shot him. Our officers got in a foot pursuit of the two kids and at one point I believe it was the 13-year-old who fired his weapon in the course of the foot pursuit. The officer did not fire, and they were able to take the young man, the juvenile into custody.”
Mylett said the investigation revealed that the teenager’s gun most likely accidentally discharged while he was going over a fence, adding that the officers showed tremendous restraint in that situation.
As for the weekend shooting, the teen has been released from the hospital to the custody of his parents. He is expected to face charges after consultation with the city prosecutor.
The officer involved is on administrative leave while the BCI investigates to determine if the shooting was justified.
“He was a nine-year veteran, just a great individual. He told me, he said, ‘Chief, I didn’t want to shoot that person. I didn’t come here to shoot that person that night,’ and I know him. I believe him. Of course I believe him. No officer wants to be put in that position, but if you are in that situation, I would ask the community, what would you do?”