I-Team: Where were Cleveland officers during shootout near school?

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CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 I-Team is uncovering more about why no Cleveland police officers were available when cars chased each other in the streets and people wildly fired gunshots that hit a school.

It happened earlier this month on the city’s southeast side. Five bullets went into the Chapelside Cleveland Academy, where teachers were working. No one was injured.

Reports and dispatch recordings show police didn’t get there until after more than half an hour.

Now, the I-Team obtained duty reports showing what calls officers were assigned to on that day at that time.

The reports show one officer in that district following up on a violent robbery. Another responding to a man threatening with a gun. Another at a hospital. But the documents also reveal others on calls for a suspicious vehicle, a stolen car and an alarm.

We found others assigned to the police precinct lobby, which is a standard practice. Another was assigned to traffic enforcement while others were on break when the shots started flying.

Cleveland police are doing an internal investigation to find out why no cars were available to send to the calls from Fourth District headquarters. The chief's office said the review could take a while. An officer finally broke off from his lunch period to get to that call.

A witness told the I-Team police said shift change was also a factor. The incident happened just before the afternoon shift came on duty.

Likely, the internal investigators will look at more than the activities of the patrol cars. For instance, why didn’t dispatch pull a car off of another call, and why didn’t a boss step in and move officers round?

Police do have a detective assigned to the case, though investigators are still working to track down the gunmen.

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