Cleveland, OH – The murder of Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek will be treated as a line-of-duty death, city officials announced Wednesday.
The announcement came just days after Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) President Jeff Follmer blasted the city after learning from Cleveland Police Department (CPD) officials that they did not plan to consider Officer Bartek’s murder to be a line-of-duty death.
“It’s an outrage,” Follmer told WJW on Monday. “This is a slap in the face.”
Follmer strongly urged the city to reconsider what he said was its initial position, WJW reported.
During a joint press conference with Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and Cleveland Police Interim Chief Wayne Drummond on Wednesday, Cleveland Department of Public Safety (CDPS) Director Karrie Howard denied allegations that a determination about the line-of-duty aspect of the young officer’s death had previously been made.
“On New Year’s Eve, Officer Shane Bartek’s life was taken in a senseless act of gun violence,” Director Howard said. “I asked Chief Drummond to conduct a review to make a line-of-duty determination, to convene a committee to review the facts, law, policies, procedures, and training that Officer Bartek received as part of being a Cleveland police officer.”
Director Howard insisted no determination was made prior to the review being completed.
“We wanted to make sure that an in-depth review was conducted so that Chief Drummond could provide a recommendation to myself and the mayor with regard to a line-of-duty determination,” the director added.
Chief Drummond said the committee he convened reviewed enhanced footage of the fatal attack as well as records pertaining to the exact training Officer Bartek received as a law enforcement officer.
“Officer Bartek utilized training that he received in our police academy,” the chief said. “He tried to disarm the subject. Obviously during that incident, unfortunately, Officer Bartek was killed.”
He was acting as a law enforcement officer when he took those actions, Chief Drummond said.
“Our conclusion in the review is that it was a line-of-duty death,” the chief confirmed.
Bibb said he is thankful for the thoroughness of the review.
“As the son of a cop, I recognize the important sacrifice that law enforcement and their families make to keep our communities safe and secure,” the mayor added. “Let’s keep the family of Shane Bartek in all of our prayers as we mourn this loss.”
Investigators said the 25-year-old off-duty officer was “ambushed and robbed” at approximately 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 while he was out in the parking lot of an apartment complex located in the 4300-block of Rocky River Drive, WOIO reported.
Security footage showed Officer Bartek struggling with a suspect prior to being fatally shot, according to police.
He was acting as an officer when he tried to grab the assailant’s firearm, Follmer told WJW.
The young officer suffered two gunshot wounds to the back, WOIO reported.
He was rushed to Fairview Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
The suspect, 18-year-old Tamara Unique McLoyd, fled the scene in the officer’s vehicle after murdering him, according to police.
McLoyd was already wanted for a previous aggravated robbery incident that occurred at Happy’s Pizza on Detroit Avenue on Nov. 2, WOIO reported.
Two employees were pistol-whipped and robbed while they were closing up shop during that attack, according to police.
McLoyd had another warrant out of Strongsville for a theft offense, and was on probation out of Lorain County for her role in an armed home invasion, according to WKBN.
She faced charges for a drive-by shooting in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, but that case was dismissed in December after the victim failed to show up for a hearing.
Cleveland police apprehended McLoyd early Saturday morning, WOIO reported.
She has been charged with aggravated murder.
A judge set her bond at $5 million on Monday, according to WKYC.
Court documents alleged McLoyd “did purposely cause the death of Shane Bartek during the armed robbery of his vehicle,” WOIO reported.
Prosecutors said Monday that McLoyd confessed to having murdered the officer, according to WOIO.
A second suspect, Anthony Butler Jr., was arrested Dec. 31 on charges of receiving stolen property and fleeing in connection with Officer Bartek’s murder, police said.
His bond was set at $5 million.
Officer Bartek’s stolen vehicle was recovered by police near Lakeshore and East 261st Street in Euclid after a police pursuit, WOIO reported.
Investigators said McLoyd had handed the vehicle off to Butler after killing Officer Bartek, and that they got into a pursuit with Butler after spotting the stolen car, WJW reported.
The chase came to an end when Butler crashed into a fence.
The line-of-duty death determination will open up avenues of funding for funeral expenses and other similar assistance for Officer Bartek’s family, Follmer noted on Monday.
“He tried to put this person and prevent this person from doing harm to anybody else, and it resulted in his death,” the union president told WJW. “He was a hero.”