CLEVELAND (WJW)– City police officials have ruled the New Year’s Eve murder of Officer Shane Bartek as a line-of-duty death, according to Police Union President Jeff Follmer and city officials.
The decision was made Wednesday, two days after Follmer advocated for the ruling, as the I-Team first reported. Follmer says this means Bartek’s family can now get financial support to help pay for his funeral and other expenses.
A local non-profit organization called Bluecoats Inc. provides funding to police officers and sheriff’s deputies who die, but only if the death is ruled in the line of duty.
Bartek, 25, was shot and killed Friday during a carjacking on the city’s west side. He was off duty at the time and was walking to his car.
Follmer said Bartek acted as an officer because he struggled with the suspect and tried to get her gun.
“He was a hero that day,” Follmer said.
Two suspects have been charged in the incident and an investigation is ongoing.