Video Shows Start of Deadly Police Chase

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CLEVELAND -- Newly-released surveillance video and police audio recordings shed new light on last week’s deadly police chase and shooting that left two people dead.

Surveillance video was released, taken from a camera on St. Clair Avenue across from the Justice Center downtown. 

Just after 10:30 p.m. on last Thursday night, a police cruiser is seen pulling up to the curb, then an officer gets out.  About 30 seconds later, a car, which appears to be speeding, whizzes by. 

There is no audio that can be heard, but something causes the officer to jump into his cruiser, turn around in the middle of the street and pursue the vehicle.

"Were these allegations true, that what he said was actually true, that a gun was fired?" asked one of the victim’s relatives at a community forum.

Relatives of the two people in the car, 43-year-old Timothy Russell and 30-year-old Malissa Williams, questioned city leaders at the forum about how the chase began.  Investigators say the officer believed someone from the car fired a shot at him.

"In fact, that was video that shows the officers twitching because there was a loud noise, there's no question about that.  There was a loud banging noise, the officer got in his car, and tried to stop it, the car wouldn't stop," responded the Cleveland Division of Police Chief Michael McGrath.

Cleveland police say that prompted a pursuit that lasted 25 minutes, and involved dozens of officers from various jurisdictions.

"Seven-oh-one, be advised, Cleveland's advising that they're pointing a gun outside of the window of the vehicle," one deputy is heard saying on sheriff’s department recordings.

Friday morning, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department released recordings of deputies who joined in the pursuit.

"We're still in this pursuit, we're out in East Cleveland now.  We just got off on Euclid and Doan, there were shots fired at CPD, we're still in a pursuit with multiple CPD, state troopers and East Cleveland are here," a deputy is heard saying.

Sheriff's deputies appear to back off once they realize how many officers are involved.

"There's probably about 100 police officers out here on foot," says a deputy.

The pursuit ended in a middle school parking lot in East Cleveland when 13 officers fired 137 rounds into the car, killing both people inside.

"Slow it down, there's no big deal, everything is handled ... they got 'em in custody? Give me a call on your phone," say two deputies.

The investigation is being conducted by East Cleveland police, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, and BCI.

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