Liberty Township, OH – What started as a road rage incident at a stoplight in Liberty Township on Friday afternoon ended in a gunfight with police that was captured on video (video below).
The incident began just before 3 p.m. on June 10 when a silver Mercedes and a black Hummer were stopped next to each other at the intersection of Belmont Avenue and East Liberty Street, WFMJ reported.
A witness called 911 and said he saw a man walk up to the Mercedes at the traffic light and shoot the driver in the face.
The witness said the gunman got back into his Hummer and fled the scene, according to the police report.
Responding officers encountered the suspect vehicle driving west on East Liberty Street and stopped it near Ohio Puppy, WFMJ reported.
Police said the suspect jumped out of his Hummer and started shooting at the officer from in front of his vehicle.
Cell phone videos captured by several witnesses showed the gunman shooting at an officer who was taking cover behind a police SUV.
The video showed the officer returned fire and a gun battle ensued.
A second police vehicle arrived on the scene and the officer parked next to the other patrol SUV and jumped out to quickly take cover.
At one point, the suspect stopped to reload his handgun and then resumed shooting at officers, the video showed.
The gunman was ultimately struck by one of the officers’ bullets, WFMJ reported.
He was transported to Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown in stable condition.
The driver that the suspect shot in the face was airlifted to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland with life-threatening injuries, WFMJ reported.
Officials have not yet released the identity of the gunman or his victim.
Liberty Township Police Chief Toby Meloro told Mahoning Matters that no officers were injured in the gunfight, “which is a good thing.”
Youngstown police, Girard police, Youngstown State University police, Cortland police, the Vienna County Sheriff’s Office, the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, and Ohio State Patrol troopers responded to the scene to assist Liberty Township, according to WFMJ.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is heading up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, Mahoning Matters reported.
The three officers who were involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation, which is protocol for all officer-involved shootings.
“It’s scary,” Melanie Meade, manager of the nearby Boost Mobile store told WFMJ. “Especially in the broad daylight, one o’clock, two o’clock in the afternoon on a Friday at a busy intersection. It’s very scary. It’s unacceptable. This side of town is very safe, especially during the day.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: