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  • Cleveland Officer Slain

    Cleveland police officer slain; four suspects held
    Posted by Metro staff February 29, 2008 19:13PM
    Categories: Top Story
    A 36-year-old Cleveland police officer died early this morning after being shot in the abdomen while chasing four men Friday evening in the city's southeast side.

    Derek Owens, who joined the force in September 1998, was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center by a squad car after the shooting at East 102nd Street and Parkview just after 6 p.m.

    He died at 12:13 a.m. in surgery, hospital spokeswoman Susan Christopher said.

    "The City of Cleveland is mournng the loss of officer Owens, who gave his life protecting the citzens of Cleveland. My prayers are with his family," Mayor Frank Jackson said in a statement.

    Police Chief Michael McGrath said, "It is a sad day for the Cleveland Police and all of Greater Cleveland. The death of Officer Owens is senseless and tragic.He was a true hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving his community. My prayers go out to the famil."

    A massive manhunt ended just after 10 p.m. Friday when police arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of shooting Owens once. He was one of four suspects police arrested during a house-by-house search in a four-block area of Parkview Avenue and nearby streets.

    The three other suspects were arrested soon after the shooting.

    The fourth suspect was arrested in the 9500 block of Parkview. Officers and a SWAT team surrounded the house and held five people on the porch. Police had not released information on the suspects' names.

    Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, who was at the hospital during the evening, called Owens a devoted, outstanding officer. He was married with two children.

    His badge was No. 746.

    During the search, Cleveland's police helicopter, the SWAT team and police dogs from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and Shaker Heights joined the search.

    Events unfolded like this:

    Shortly after 6 p.m., Owens and another 4th District patrolman, who were not undercover, spotted a group of men drinking beer in a vacant garage.

    Police had received numerous complaints from residents about the neighborhood, which is made up of duplexes, many of which are boarded-up and vandalized, and the officers recognized the men from previous neighborhood patrols, Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said.

    When four men took off running, the officers started chasing them on foot. About 6:20 p.m., one of the men stopped, pulled out a gun and fired at Owens, police said. A single shot hit him below his bulletproof vest.

    Both officers shot back.

    "This was two officers aggressively doing their jobs," police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said. "This is what they do every day."

    Jackson stopped at MetroHealth early in the evening, and other city and police officials were there while doctors operated on the officer.

    Owens has worked in the 4th District since he was hired in September 1998.

    A 26-year-old man who lives near East 104th Street and Parkview, said he heard the gunshots and looked out and saw what happened.

    The man, who declined to give his name, said the officers were between two houses. He said he thought he heard six shots, then police returned fire. He said the hit officer was limping down the driveway and he saw blood running down his leg before he dropped in the driveway.

    Other officers came up, rolled him over and tapped his face a couple of times to see if he was alert. Three officers dragged him down the driveway. They put him in the back of a cruiser and more police pulled up after that.

    The other officers then started searching around the house. A little while later, officers with guns drawn searched the back yards of houses on the other side of the street.

    There's a lot of crime in the neighborhood, the man said. "They shoot every other night," he said.


  • #2
    RIP Officer Owens.
    The views/opinions expressed here are solely mine. I'm retired and I don't care. I truly do not want to offend anyone, but if you are thin skinned and have no sense of humor, you better find another line of work. Therefore, I don't have to be politically correct and I will exercise my freedom of speech, until it's taken away. May God bless all retirees. We've done our duty and earned our peace.


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