Cleveland, OH – A 19-year-old woman has been convicted of murdering off-duty Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek during an armed carjacking that took place on New Year’s Eve of 2021.
A Cleveland jury found Tamara McLoyd guilty on charges of murder, aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, having weapons under disability, grand theft, and theft on Aug. 3, WEWS reported.
The jury did not convict McLoyd on a second charge of aggravated murder.
“The tragedy is this individual who committed this crime — these crimes — was on a spree of violence through our community,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley told WEWS. “We see it every day in our county and it’s reaching these individuals and getting them on the right track, and she had opportunities to get on track, and every crossroad she could have turned her life around. She declined that opportunity.”
McLoyd faces a potential life sentence.
Prosecutors said the judge will determine whether she will be imprisoned for life without parole, or if she will be given an opportunity for parole after serving 20, 25, or 30 years, WEWS reported.
Her sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 27, WJW reported.
Defense attorney Jaye Schlachet had little to say when reporters asked him about the convicted cop-killer’s reaction to the verdict.
“What would you think after being found guilty of aggravated murder?” Schlachet responded.
O’Malley said he hopes the conviction will help begin “the slow process of healing” for the slain officer’s family, WEWS reported.
On behalf of the Euclid Community, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of Cleveland Patrol Officer Shane Bartek whose life was cut tragically short this weekend. It is with heavy hearts that we honor Patrol Officer Shane Bartek’s service.
-Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail pic.twitter.com/zRJv394nd9
— City of Euclid, Ohio (@cityofeuclid) January 2, 2022
“Quite frankly, she was a terrorist on our street, and for our community’s sake she is going to face the music for all the crime she committed over those several months,” he added.
Cleveland Police Department (CPD) Chief Wayne Drummond, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) President Jeff Follmer, and a large showing of CPD officers stood alongside members of Officer Bartek’s family as the guilty verdicts were returned on Wednesday, WEWS reported.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Bartek family while they had to relive that horrible night,” Follmer said in a press release later in the day. “We thank the judge and the jury for the conviction of McLoyd.”
“I want to commend our homicide unit and everyone that helped on the apprehension and conviction of McLoyd,” the union president continued. “We are quite confident that the only thing she will see for the rest of her life are bars.”
Investigators said the 25-year-old, off-duty officer was “ambushed and robbed” at approximately 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2021, while he was out in the parking lot of an apartment complex located in the 4300-block of Rocky River Drive, WOIO reported at the time.
Security footage showed the suspect running up behind Officer Bartek, robbing him at gunpoint, and then fatally shooting him.
McLoyd then fled the scene in the officer’s vehicle.
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.
— Brian Steel (@EVPFOP9) January 2, 2022
McLoyd was apprehended the following day.
Prosecutors said she admitted to detectives that she murdered Officer Bartek.
A second suspect, Anthony Butler Jr., was arrested Dec. 31, 2021 on charges of receiving stolen property and fleeing in connection with Officer Bartek’s murder, police said.
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.
Investigators subsequently linked McLoyd to another robbery that occurred on Christmas Day of 2021.
During that incident, prosecutors said the suspect approached a 27-year-old male victim in the same apartment complex parking lot and carjacked him at gunpoint, then sped off in his vehicle, WEWS reported.
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.
The slain officer’s mother, Debra Bartek, released a statement shortly after the shooting 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.”