A van is shown ramming a Strongsville police vehicle before an officer opens the van’s driver’s side door and shoots a Lorain man to end a 14-minute, high-speed chase on Interstate 71 in dashboard camera footage released Thursday by the department.
Minutes before the fatal shooting of Roy Evans Jr., a voice in Strongsville police Car 12, driven by the officer who shot Roy Evans Jr., can be heard describing the 37-year-old reaching down inside the van to light a cigarette.
FOOTAGE FROM STRONGSVILLE POLICE CAR 12 (WARNING: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED):
A voice sounding like the officer can be heard shouting at 12 seconds after 2:40 a.m. in the video. Footage from another Strongsville police vehicle, Car 9, shows the officer’s cruiser ramming the van before the officer exits his vehicle and seconds later opens the van door.
Three seconds later, the officer shoots Evans and can be heard shouting multiple times, “Let me see your hands” and “Show me your hands.” The video shows officers pulling Evans from the van onto the ground.
The video from Car 9 is inaudible before the shooting.
FOOTAGE FROM STRONGSVILLE POLICE CAR 9:
Four videos from Strongsville police were released to the public Thursday. The identity of the officer who killed Evans has not been released. Strongsville police are not equipped with body cameras.
Cousin questions video
A family member of Evans reacted to the release of the Strongsville video, saying he was troubled by what he saw in the video from Car 9.
“It’s not what I expected the cops would have done,” said Eric Peterson, a cousin of Evans from Sheffield Lake.
Peterson said the only video he saw was the one from Car 9 shown by TV news.
“The cop didn’t even tell him to put his hands up or nothing,” Peterson said.
The chase began on northbound I-71 in Cuyahoga County before Evans exited the highway and quickly returned, heading south. Police said they first attempted a traffic stop because they said Evans was driving without lights at a high rate of speed.
Peterson said Evans was diagnosed as schizophrenic and had stopped taking his medication.
“He was really scared and didn’t want to stop,” said Peterson.
A woman identified by Peterson as Evans’ girlfriend was in the van along with three children.
She can be seen being forcibly removed from the van after the shooting in a video from Strongsville police Car 27. The same video shows the girlfriend in the passenger seat during the pursuit.
Peterson said the woman told Evans to pull over after the chase began.
But Peterson said Evans was afraid to stop because he had recently been released from prison and feared he might be arrested again.
Evans served two years in prison for felonious assault after stabbing a man 14 times during a fight New Year’s Eve 2013. He was released last Sept. 28. An additional charge of attempted murder in the incident was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation has said no weapon was found in the van. But the bureau has said it is investigating whether the vehicle itself was used as a weapon.
The BCI is awaiting forensic results that could take months to be released.
Dashboard camera footage from Strongsville police Car 12 shows the van at one point on I-71 south veering over two lanes, and appearing to come close to contact with another Strongsville cruiser.
Two Strongsville police cars were reported damaged in the incident.
Video from Strongsville Car 3 shows the aftermath of the pursuit and shooting.
On Wednesday, dashboard camera footage was released by the Ohio Highway Patrol with audio of the shooting but does not show the shooting itself.
The Gazette has sought copies of dashboard camera video from Medina and Medina Township police and the Sheriff’s Office. Those departments arrived on the scene later to close the highway exit.
Strongsville police Lt. Dave Tomcho did not return a message Thursday asking for elaboration on the videos.
Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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