AKRON, Ohio — Two men in Akron were killed following an officer-involved shooting that took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
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According to Akron Police, officers responded to multiple 911 calls about a male with a gun at a residence in the 500 block of Ritchie Avenue at approximately 2:43 a.m. on Tuesday. The caller had informed officers that a man inside the home had been screaming and pointing a gun at occupants inside the house.
Upon arriving, officers could hear yelling inside the house. Moments later, two occupants exited the home and officers were informed that the suspect remained inside with one other occupant, with one of the people outside apparently telling officers, "He's going to kill my brother."
Officers proceeded to give the 21-year-old male suspect numerous verbal commands to drop the gun he was holding. After the suspect refused "multiple" commands and appeared at the top of the stairs brandishing the gun, two officers discharged their firearms. Chief Steve Mylett claims the suspect pointed his gun at the officers at least once before eventually retreating back inside the residence.
The suspect has been identified by the Summit County Medical Examiner as Lawrence LeJames Rodgers of Akron.
Officers proceeded to establish a perimeter around the house, due to the uncertain nature of the situation and the ongoing threat. After the Akron SWAT Team arrived, they began trying to establish communication with the occupants of the residence, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
Upon entering the home, the SWAT Team discovered two people, the suspect and a 38-year-old man, deceased in the living room. Mylett says "there is evidence inside the home" that indicates the 38-year-old was a victim of a homicide.
The victim has been identified as Raymond Jones of Akron. The Summit County Medical Examiner revealed that both Jones and Rodgers died due to gunshot wounds to the torso.
It is unknown how or when that may have occurred, but Mylett claims it "looks very, very unlikely" that the officers were the ones who shot him, as police never entered the home until a robot had gone in and located the bodies first. It has also not been confirmed if any of the police bullets struck the suspect and caused his death.
Both of the officers involved in the incident have just over two years' experience with the Akron Police Department. Both were immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an investigation, per department policy. The investigation will be conducted by members of the APD Major Crimes Unit, assisted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, with the results being turned over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for review before being submitted to the Summit County Grand Jury for evaluation.
Additionally, a separate internal investigation will be conducted by the APD Office of Professional Standards and Accountability.