CLEVELAND (WJW) — Newly-released body camera video shows what led to a deadly shootout between police officers and a gunman in downtown Cleveland on Dec. 12.
The video begins after the officers received a radio call that a man was walking around pointing a gun at cars and firing shots in the air.
The officers caught up to the suspect at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 12th Street, just blocks away from FirstEnergy Stadium where 67,000 people were watching the second half of the Browns-Ravens game.
The video shows the officer in the driver’s seat opening his door and immediately, he and his partner begin shouting commands at the gunman, “Stop! Put it down, put it down, put it down now! On the ground, get on the ground now, don’t touch that gun, do not touch that gun! Get on the ground, get on the ground!”
The video then shows an exchange of gunfire between the two officers and the suspect. The officers then retreat behind their cruiser, where one of the patrolmen reloads his weapon. There is then a second exchange of gunfire with the suspect, 39-year-old Patrick Horton, of Cleveland.
Horton was struck by several bullets, and his body is seen on the ground. The video shows one of the officers then pulling the cruiser up closer to where Horton is face down on the sidewalk.
One of the officers is heard calling out, ”Take the gun out, get the first aid kit, get the first aid kit.”
Once officers reach Horton, they find the gun under his body and attempt to render first aid before paramedics arrive at the scene.
Horton would later be pronounced dead at MetroHealth Medical Center. The head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association said the body camera video confirms that the two officers who encountered Horton, had no choice but to defend themselves.
“It was a scary situation for the police officers and for any citizens that were down there, so it was a bad situation but you know we survived, nobody else got hurt there,” said CPPA President Jeff Follmer.
A spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Horton suffered gunshot wounds to the head, torso and extremities. The results of toxicology tests are pending.
As for what could have caused Horton to behave the way he did on Dec. 12, it turns out that days earlier, police had taken him to MetroHealth for a psychiatric evaluation.
According to a police report, Horton’s girlfriend reported he was paranoid and thought people were out to harm him.
The report indicated before taking Horton to the hospital, officers searched him and found a loaded gun, extra bullets and marijuana in his pockets. However, given his mental state, the officers decided it was best to get him psychiatric help, rather than place him under arrest.