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No gun found in van after I-71 pursuit, investigators say

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No weapon was found in a van involved in Tuesday’s high-speed chase and fatal police shooting on Interstate 71 in Medina County, investigators said Thursday.

A police report released Wednesday refers to driver Roy Evans Jr. “reaching around down below, lighting a cigarette” one minute before the shooting occurred.

“But we’re still investigating whether the vehicle itself was used as a weapon,” Jill Del Greco, spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told The Gazette.

No other details about evidence from the van or police vehicles have been released, Del Greco said. The Gazette has requested dashboard camera video from Strongsville police, as well as Medina Township police, Medina police, the Sheriff’s Office and highway patrol.

Two Strongsville police vehicles were damaged in the chase that resulted in a police officer shooting Evans Jr., 37, of Lorain at 2:40 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The BCI office is awaiting final autopsy and toxicology reports from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. Del Greco said those results and vehicle forensics, once complete, will be referred to the Medina County Prosecutor’s office.

The 14-minute chase ended shortly after the van driven by Evans, with a female passenger and three children, ran over road spikes set up by the Ohio Highway Patrol just past the state Route 3 exit on I-71.

In 2014, Evans pleaded guilty in Lorain County Common Pleas Court to felonious assault after stabbing a man 14 times during a New Year’s Eve fight.

Evans served two years in prison and was released Sept. 28. An additional charge of attempted murder in the incident was dropped in exchange for his plea.

 

Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or nmalenic@medina-gazette.com.



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