Cincinnati police Officer Shyane Schneider didn't mince her words with investigators looking into the fatal police shooting of an armed man last week Tuesday.
"Kevin saved my life," she told them, referring to Officer Kevin Newman, who along with Officer Jerome Enneking shot and killed Randolph Ward, 27, who fled from a traffic stop and fired at Schneider when she tried to subdue him.
Chief Thomas Streicher praised all 5 officers involved in the gunbattle during a press conference Wednesday morning.
He said he will recommend the quintet for the department's new Medal of Valor.
"Five different officers run directly into harm's way," Streicher said about the busy commercial area where the chase and shooting took place.
"This man is posing an imminent danger to people in that area and nobody backed off.
"They continue throwing themselves between the man and the community," Streicher said.
Less than an hour before meeting with investigators, Schneider was on routine patrol in Spring Grove Village, parts of which are a high-crime area where residents are not strangers to the sound of gunfire.
The incident began about 11 a.m. when Officer Gregory Toyeas, driving north on Spring Grove Avenue, was cut off by Ward's Buick LeSabre as they turned onto Clifton Avenue.
Toyeas pulled Ward over on Kenard Avenue, between a Blockbuster and a Kroger.
Much of what happened next was caught on camera, both from police cruisers and private businesses.
The videos show a dramatic foot chase and end with Ward being shot to death in the cab of a truck.
From the video and police reports, the gunbattle unfolded like this:
After being stopped, Ward - possibly concerned he was going back to jail because he was a ex-convict with a gun - lied about his identify.
Toyeas became suspicious.
Ward then grabbed his gun, clamored from his car and ran.
Toyeas called for help.
Officer Jerome Enneking arrived first, joining the chase west toward railroad tracks that run along Spring Grove Avenue, then north to where Ward disappeared from the officers' sight.
Officer William Watts, who just pulled into the parking lot of a nearby Gold Star Chili, saw Ward point a gun at Toyeas and Enneking.
Watts yelled at Ward and fired two shots at him.
Ward kept running, heading over the tracks' embankment.
As Ward came down the other side of the embankment, gun still in hand, he pointed it two men changing the tire of a back hoe in the parking lot of a car wash on Spring Grove Avenue.
He then ran in front of Schneider, who had just arrived on the scene.
Ward jumped into a repair truck parked nearby, but a wedge to stabilize the truck prevented it from moving.
Ward was cornered.
Schneider ran up to the truck and tried to hit Ward with her Taser.
Enneking and Newman approached Ward from different sides of the truck and Schneider warned them, "He has a gun."
Ward fired three shots at Schneider. She ducked.
Newman and Enneking opened fire from both sides of the white truck's cab.
Newman fired 13 shots. Enneking got off four rounds.
Ward crumpled, hit repeatedly.
Ward's loaded .38-caliber gun lay on the floor of the truck.
Suicide by police?
Ward's mother, Christel Johnson, said Wednesday she doesn't blame police for her son's death, which she believes was a "suicide."
She said her son, who lived St. Bernard and was the father of three children, plus cared for two of his girlfriends' children. She said he couldn't find a job because of a felony conviction and was depressed.
Nightly texts saying he loved his mother had nearly stopped, she said. And he was drinking.
At about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Ward texted his 19-year-old brother Reggie, asking him to look after their mother.
Reggie Ward did not respond to the cryptic message.
"It was a suicide. I know so," his mother said, crying.
Streicher said suicide by police - in which a person knows pointing or firing a gun at an officer will prompt return gunfire - is a possibility, but there is no way to verify it.
Tags: dead, killed, shooting, shootout, suicide, traffic stop, armed gunman, police, cops, dashcam, caught, tape
Location: Spring Grove, Virginia, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved, featured
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