Cleveland, OH – A Cleveland man was shot by police on Wednesday after he pointed a gun at officers. Now his mother says that she does not blame the police for her son’s death.
Cyrida Levinson said her son carried two guns every day, and sold drugs, in a poignant interview she gave to WOIO on Thursday morning, after she identified her son’s body for the police.
The mother of Antonio Levinson, age 33, said she’d told him she didn’t want to have to identify his body on Saturday, the last time she saw her son, as she again urged him to leave the street lifestyle.
“I told my son I’m not trying to identify your body. Here it is Wednesday, I’m identifying my son’s body. That’s a message right there,” the mother said.
She said she does not blame the police for her eldest son’s death.
“It’s not their fault. They were doing their jobs. They had to do what they had to do. My son pulled the gun on them. So that’s what happened. They had to do what they had to do to protect themselves,” Cyrida said.
She said her son thought he was “invincible,” that he couldn’t die.
“But look where you’re at now. You’re not even with me. You’re gone. You’re in a morgue, with a tag on your foot,” she said. “I can’t bring my son back.”
“I didn’t want it to end like this. I wanted to hear my son’s laugh… October 25th 2017 is when my son’s life was taken from him, because he was being real ignorant. And I’m sorry to say that. And I love my son. But there’s nothing I can do. I can’t bring him back,” Cyrida stayed calm, but determined, through the interview.
She had a message for all the other young people in their community.
“I cannot even describe how I feel, and what I seen last night of my son,” she said, referring to having to identify her son’s body at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.
“Please put these guns down. Take it from a mother that knows… It’s not worth losing your life running from the police, shooting at the police. You’ve got families…My son was a street person. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth your life. Trust me,” she said.
“You’re invincible to your friends – whoever carries guns – you’re invincible to your friends. You’re not invincible to the police. Because the police are trained to kill,” Cyrida said.
“And if you take your gun out, you’re going to get killed. Like my son,” she said.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots on Wednesday afternoon in the Glenville neighborhood.
Cleveland Police responded and were directed to the shooters by a neighbor, according to WOIO.
The suspects ran from police, but Antonio Levinson dropped a gun as he fled.
He pulled out a second gun and pointed it at police, and the officer opened fire, shooting him.
Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson from Ward 10 visited the crime scene shortly after the incident occurred.
Johnson said the neighborhood was “one of the ground zeros in the city,” and that children were playing outside in the area at the time of the shooting.
“I need more police over here… I need to get more people involved in the restorations of the neighborhood,” he said.
Antonio Levinson was transported to University Hospitals where he was pronounced dead.
Police recovered two weapons at the scene of the shooting.