PARMA, Ohio -An investigation is underway after a police-involved shooting that left one man dead on Interstate 480 Thursday afternoon.
It all started after a Papa Johns store in Parma Heights was robbed at gunpoint earlier in the day.
According to the manager, his employees cooperated with the man and gave him money. Once he left the store, they called police immediately.
No one was injured during the robbery. As the suspect was leaving the scene, officers spotted the truck and started following him.
Parma Heights Sgt. Steve Scharschmidt said during the news conference Thursday, the suspect entered the freeway at the Tiedeman Road ramp and led police on a chase. After crashing his vehicle into the median, the suspect was in his car for a few seconds before exiting his vehicle holding a gun.
Sgt. Scharschmidt said four Parma Heights officers, one Parma police officer and one Brooklyn police officer fired their weapons, striking the suspect. It is unknown how many times the suspect was shot.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was a 31-year-old man and will not be identified until his family is notified.
A good friend of suspect said she isn’t trying to justify what happened, but says the 31-year-old was a very gentle person who has battled addiction issues.
“I don’t want people thinking this is just another addict robbing a place,” said Leacy Conrad. “Anyone who knew him, knew that was not who he really was.”
She said he has a wonderful family, and was a very talented artist and writer. She said the last time she talked to him he had promised to go back to a treatment program.
“He was so good to my daughter,” Conrad said. “He was such a gentle person. I am heartbroken.”
I-480 east was closed between State and Ridge roads for several hours Thursday.
The Parma Heights Police Department, along with the Parma Police Department and Brooklyn Police Department are cooperating with Cleveland police with the investigation since the use of deadly force incident happened inside Cleveland city limits.