AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Akron’s police chief is calling for patience and calm as new details emerge about a deadly police-involved shooting.
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office says the suspect was shot “multiple times” and has ruled the case a homicide.
Akron police chief Steve Mylett says he wants to be as transparent as possible and promises to release more details and video about the shooting in the coming days.
Although the medical examiner ruled that Jayland Walker was shot multiple times, the chief says he is not prepared to say how many times.
“It’s important that we get this right, it’s important that BCI does a thorough investigation, which I’m confident of,” said the chief.
SkyFOX showed dozens of evidence markers in a parking lot on Wilbeth Road between Dallas Avenue and Main Street in Akron early Monday morning.
A police chase that started in a vehicle and went on foot ended when Akron police officers opened fire, killing 25-year old Jayland Walker, of Akron.
“We’re having to go back and look at all the body cam footage and we’re looking at how many rounds were expended,” Mylett said. “I don’t even know the exact number of rounds that were fired.”
Police say the ordeal began around 12:30 a.m. Monday when officers tried to pull over the vehicle Walker was driving near East Tallmadge and Thayer Road, but he didn’t stop.
“As the pursuit traveled on Tallmadge and south onto Route 8, officers heard and saw a muzzle flash, indicating that a round was fired from the suspect vehicle,” said Mylett.
The chief says the officer alerted fellow officers about the shot, which Chief Mylett says immediately changes the dynamics of a pursuit.
“You have a person that is armed and has indicated their willingness to discharge a firearm,” he said.
The chase continued another five minutes and, according to the chief, ended when Walker jumped from the car and ran. He says officers tried to tase him, but the taser didn’t deploy as intended.
“He turned towards the officers and the officers perceived his behavior as a threat and the officers engaged Mr. Walker with gunfire,” said the chief.
“You say ‘engaged,’ did he have a weapon at the time?” asked FOX 8 reporter Kevin Freeman.
“So Kevin, again, on Sunday, I’m going to get into all the details and everything of this. I need to have a conversation with the Walker family. I owe it to them to discuss those details that you and other reporters are asking,” the chief responded.
Chief Mylett says this Sunday he plans to release as much information about the shooting as he can, including the officers’ bodycam videos. The officers are on route administrative leave, although the chief would not say how many officers that involves.
The Walker family told us they are still grieving right now and are not prepared to speak publicly about the situation.