Cleveland, OH – An off-duty Cleveland police officer was fatally shot during an armed carjacking on New Year’s Eve, according to police.
Investigators said off-duty Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek, 25, 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.
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.
Cleveland police apprehended McLoyd early Saturday morning, WOIO reported.
She has been charged with aggravated murder.
Court documents alleged McLoyd “did purposely cause the death of Shane Bartek during the armed robbery of his vehicle,” WOIO reported.
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, according to police.
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.
Officer Bartek graduated from Berea-Midpark High School in 2015 and went on to earn a degree from the University of Cincinnati, according to WJW.
He joined the Cleveland Police Department (CPD) in August of 2019, WOIO reported.
“This is a very sad day. My heart is aching for the family and for our officers,” Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Wayne Drummond said. “Senseless… it just doesn’t make any sense.”
Retired Cleveland Police Officer Jaqueline Ketterer told WJW that Officer Bartek’s mother is her cousin.
Officer Ketterer’s own son, Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while responding to a crash in 2017.
“It’s tragic and it’s so hard,” the retired officer said of her family’s losses. “We both lost our sons where there was a suspect on the loose so besides the fact that we’re worried about our child, we’re also worried about the public’s safety.”
She said she has been trying to support Officer Bartek’s heartbroken mother, Debra Bartek, as she struggles with her son’s murder, WJW reported.
“I tell her to take each day and know that she has support,” retired Officer Ketterer said. “Don’t worry about the little things or the big things. Take it a day and a time…it’s going to hurt forever.”
Debra Bartek released a statement saying her son was always striving to help others.
“Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude for the overwhelming show of love and support,” she wrote, according to WJW. “Shane lived his life to the fullest. He didn’t take life too seriously but always made sure everyone around him was taken care of and happy. He was goofy, always had a smile on his face, and always brought people out of their shells with his confidence and calm demeanor.”
“Shane was a son, a brother, a twin, and friend. But so much more,” his grieving mother added. “He lived his life in kindness and to help others. He will be missed forever.”
Retired Officer Ketterer said her son and Officer Bartek were “good boys” who just wanted to help their communities, WJW reported.
“All they wanted to do was do the right thing,” she said. “They wanted to see that society takes one step in the right direction. I’m five years into this and it doesn’t make it any easier, but we appreciate the brothers and sisters in blue still fighting the fight to keep our hero alive in our hearts.”