PARMA, Ohio — Parma police are investigating after multiple gunshots were fired near striking United Auto Workers at the General Motors Parma Metal Center on Brookpark Road early Tuesday.
“Apparently the driver put their hand out the window with a handgun and fired at least five rounds out of their window,” said Sgt. Dan Ciryak.
According to police, an officer was patrolling the area when flagged down my people on the picket line around 3 a.m. Police were told several shots were fired. A man reportedly handed the officer several shell casings. Police say they later recovered one shell casing from the scene.
Parma police say a driver was travelling eastbound on Brookpark Road when the shots were fired. It’s not clear if the person was shooting in the air or at picketers.
“You never know where that bullet is coming down; it could strike anybody,” said the sergeant. “You don’t know where it’s going so you don’t know where it’s going to land; it just puts a lot of people in danger.”
UAW Local 1005 president Mike Caldwell said he would not comment until he learned more from police.
About 1000 workers walked off the job in Parma last week as contract negotiations broke down between General Motors and the UAW.
The UAW is asking for higher wage increases, a larger share of company profits, for GM to manufacture new products at plants that could be headed for closure and a plan for temporary workers to become permanent.
“They should have to spread the wealth they make,” said UAW member Marty Wise. “We all do our part to make these great vehicles you know so I think they should share with us.”
While police are concerned about the safety of those on the picket line, workers say they are focused on what they believe they’re due from General Motors.
“I’d like to see a fair contract, honest days work for an honest day’s pay,” said Lisa Adams .
If you have information regarding the shooting incident, call Parma police at 440-885-1234.