Cleveland, OH – The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) blasted city officials Monday after learning they will not be treating slain Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek’s murder as a line-of-duty death.
“It’s an outrage,” CPPA President Jeff Follmer told WJW. “This is a slap in the face.”
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 acted 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.
Follmer said Cleveland Police Department (CPD) officials advised him Monday that Officer Bartek’s murder will not be ruled as a line-of-duty death – a stance he has strongly urged them to reconsider, WJW reported.
A line-of-duty death determination would open up avenues of funding for funeral expenses and other similar assistance for the young officer’s family, the union president noted.
“He tried to put this person and prevent this person from doing harm to anybody else, and it resulted in his death,” Follmer told WJW. “It’s sad. And for the city not to give the benefit of a line-of-duty to this…is just crazy. It doesn’t even make sense.”
“He was a hero,” he added.
CPD officials refused to discuss the matter with WJW, but told the news outlet that a final decision hasn’t been made.
“We want this to be an in-the-line-of duty death,” Follmer told WKYC. “If the city of Cleveland is not willing to do that, we have attorney ready to fight for Bartek’s family.”