Akron, OH – Authorities have released more details about what led up to the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Jayland Walker, including the fact he had been involved in a police chase less than 24 hours before he was killed.
Initial media reports on the shooting classified it as a “routine traffic stop,” that ended with Walker being shot at least 60 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 released bodycam video of the fatal officer-involved shooting on Sunday afternoon, The New York Times reported.
Chief Mylett said there were eight officers who were directly involved in the shooting and all of them have been placed on paid administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) investigates the incident.
The police chief addressed rumors about how many times Walker was shot and how many rounds had been fired in total by Akron police officers during the incident, The New York Times reported.
Attorneys for the family had told the media that officers fired more than 90 rounds at Walker and that he had been shot more than 60 times. Walker had fired a gun at police officers during a vehicle pursuit before fleeing on foot.
“We do not know the exact number of rounds that were fired… however, based on the video, I anticipate that number to be high,” Chief Mylett told reporters.
“A lot of rounds were fired. And I will not be surprised if the number at the end of the investigation is consistent with the number that has been circulating in the media. But right now, we just don’t know,” the police chief explained.
He said the medical examiner’s report “indicates over 60 wounds to Mr. Walker’s body. There was a gun recovered from Mr. Walker’s vehicle. At the time of the shooting, he was unarmed.”
BCI investigators are investigating why Walker left the loaded gun and a wedding ring in his car when he jumped out of it, WJW reported.
Police also want to know why the 25-year-old driver was wearing a ski mask when he fled police and led them on the wild chase.
BCI said all of the officers involved in the incident have been cooperating with the investigation, WJW reported.