CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained new video from the investigation into the hit and run that killed Cleveland firefighter Johnny Tetrick.
This comes to light as the people closest to the firefighter are speaking out.
His family worried one day he would lose his life on duty, but the new video shows police taking the first steps toward justice.
Cleveland Police body camera video shows the moment officers say they found the killer’s car.
As an officer looked it over, you can hear him say, “Looks like there’s some booze bottles in there.”
Meanwhile, Kris Tetrick, the firefighter’s dad said, “I begged him to retire because it was such a dangerous occupation.”
“My last phone call with him, I asked him why he was still on the job at 51,” his daughter, Falon, said. He said he wanted all of us to have health insurance through college.”
“My dad was the most selfless person anyone could ever know,” his daughter, Regan, added. “They (firefighters) lost a brother. We lost a Dad.”
Johnny Tetrick’s father and daughters spoke out while standing with his fellow firefighters from Station 22.
Last Saturday, investigators say, Johnny Tetrick was hit and killed while picking up debris from an accident on I-90.
“He was the rock on his crew. He really helped keep everyone together,” firefighter Dan Zudic said.
Zudic and other firefighters broke down while talking about their fallen first responder.
The new police video also shows the arrest of Leander Bissell. Police carried him to a patrol car. A report shows Bissell was arrested while naked.
Investigators say he’d been driving drunk, hit the firefighter and sped off. We’ve learned police believe Bissell was alone in his car at the time of the hit and run.
He faces charges, but Cleveland and Bratenahl police are still putting together a case. Detectives are even asking about what that driver had been up to before the hit and run.
Johnny Tetrick’s daughters made it clear that they want justice, but based on the family’s deep religious faith, they also are not pressing for the maximum punishment for the suspect.
“My dad, he’d want us to forgive,” said Regan Tetrick.
“He still has value as a human being, and just because he did a bad thing does not mean we hate him,” Eden Tetrick said.
The family members and firefighters from Station 22 consider themselves part of the same family. To all of them, the firehouse is home. Johnny Tetrick spent so many hours there.
“This is our family. We grew up here. We came here for birthdays and Christmases and everything,” Falon Tetrick said.
“He was a great cook,” Firefighter Robert Schwind pointed out. “His mom taught him to make Korean dishes.”
Johnny Tetrick followed in the footsteps of his father, also a career firefighter.
The family hopes a huge crowd of strangers will show up at the funeral to say goodbye and thank you.
While there are still many questions about the suspect, there is no question about the heart of a firefighter killed in the line of duty.
His daughters say he always had a smile on his face, even to the end.
“When we went to say ‘goodbye’ at the hospital, he was smirking,” Falon Tetrick said.