Akron, OH – The eight Akron police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Jayland Walker after he shot at them will not face criminal charges in Ohio.
Ohio Attorney General David Yost announced on Monday that the special grand jury had been reviewing the officer-involved shooting (OIS) case since April 11, WJW reported.
Yost said the nine-member panel had seen Walker’s autopsy, bodycam, and testimony from witnesses and experts before voting not to indict the eight officers based on the evidence.
“There is no doubt he did in fact shoot at police officers,” the attorney general told reporters at a press conference, according to CBS News.
In order to indict, at least seven of the nine grand jury panelists must vote in favor of charges, according to WJW.
However, the grand jury proceedings themselves are secret.
Officials closed Akron-area schools on April 17 in anticipation of a decision from the grand jury and after-school activities are also cancelled for April 18, CBS News reported.
Akron police officers just put the barricades back. @wkyc #JaylandWalker pic.twitter.com/SA2fWNk9er
— Neil Fischer (@NeilFischerTV) April 17, 2023
An additional law enforcement presence was planned for the city in the wake of the announcement.
Initial media reports on the shooting last year classified it as a “routine traffic stop,” that ended with Walker being shot multiple times by the police officers who were chasing him.
However, police reports showed that a New Franklin police officer saw Walker’s vehicle with a broken taillight and no license plate a day earlier and tried to stop him, WJW reported.
But Walker refused to stop for the officer’s lights and siren and fled the scene.
The officer chased Walker but his supervisor ordered him to terminate the chase when it reached the New Franklin city limits, WJW reported.
Hours later, Akron police spotted Walker’s vehicle with its missing license plate and broken taillight but opted not to stop it.
But the information about the New Franklin officer’s chase had been uploaded into the law enforcement database and the Akron officers received an alert about it shortly after they failed to stop the vehicle, WJW reported.
The officers spotted the suspect vehicle again in the North Hill neighborhood at about 12:30 a.m. on June 27, shortly after they received the New Franklin police alert.
So they tried to pull over Walker’s vehicle, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Police said Walker fled onto Route 8 southbound and fired a gun at officers from his moving vehicle.
Forty seconds after the traffic stop was initiated, the officers reported that the suspect in the vehicle was shooting at them, WJW reported.
Walker got onto Interstate 77 and then exited into the Firestone Park neighborhood with officers still in pursuit, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
That was when the suspect jumped out of his car while it was still moving and fled on foot.
Officers chased walker into the parking lot of the Bridgestone Americas campus off East Wilbeth, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Officials said police deployed tasers at Walker but they proved ineffective, WKYC reported.
“Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” police said. “In response to this threat, officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect.”
Walker was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene, NBC News reported.
He suffered gunshot wounds to his face, abdomen, arms, and legs, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said there were eight officers who were directly involved in the shooting and were placed on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) investigated the incident.
Walker’s family claimed he had been shot more than 60 times and sparked protests by activists.
The actual autopsy report was released in July of 2022 and painted a more specific picture of the incident.
“The autopsy determined that Jayland had 46 gunshot wound entrances or graze injuries,” Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler said, according to ABC News.
“The photographic record shows more than 46 labeled wounds because there are exit wounds, bullets beneath the skin and abrasions that were numbered for the purpose of identifying specific injuries.”
Kohler said it was impossible to know which bullet had killed Walker or the exact number of shots that were fired.
She said Walker “had several very devastating injuries that would cause death,” including gunshot wounds to his heart, lungs, and arteries.
The medical examiner said he also had five wounds in his back but explained that it was impossible to say if Walker was shot as he was running away or if he turned as he was being shot.