Monday, November 20, 2017 Medina 44°
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State News

Authorities: Stun gun used before fatal shooting by shelter

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CLEVELAND — A police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man after he was transported to a homeless shelter had used a stun gun on him unsuccessfully before firing his gun, authorities said.

The man was identified by Summit County medical examiner Gary Guenther as 30-year-old William Andrew Porubsky. The medical examiner said his report shows Porubsky and the officer got into a fight after arriving at the Haven of Rest shelter in Akron on Sunday night. Police say the officer, who was from Stow, asked for backup from Akron police because the man was becoming aggressive.

“We're at the back door & he won't get out,” the officer said at about 11:20 p.m., according to a radio log released by the Stow Police Department on Monday.

The log shows that shots were fired about six minutes after the officer requested backup. The officer was slightly hurt and lost his glasses, the log said. Porubsky was unarmed, an Akron police incident report shows.

Neither the log nor the incident report release stated who fired the shots.

Porubsky's grandfather Robert Varner said the officer knew Porubsky. Porubsky's grandmother Judy Varner said she's upset and doesn't understand why Porubsky was killed.

“It just breaks my heart, and I can't understand why did they shoot to kill,” Varner said Tuesday. “Aren't there other ways to do that? If they had to shoot him, why didn't they shoot him in the leg?”

Varner says Porubsky's alcoholic father was in and out of prison and left Porubsky when he was young. Porubsky's mother died in a motorcycle accident in 2008, and his stepfather hanged himself a year or two later, Varner said.

Porubsky used to work as a roofer and moved in with his grandparents after his mother and stepfather moved to Florida, but he left after a few months to live with friends.

“He was hilarious, he was sweet, he was a boy and got in trouble sometimes, but he was a good kid,” said Tricia Sandoval, Porubsky's childhood friend. “He was put in a lot of really bad situations and did his best to get through them.”

Court records show Porubsky had been convicted of drug possession, burglary and domestic violence and was most recently sentenced to 10 months in prison for attempted burglary in October 2016.

Varner said every time Porubsky got out of prison he wanted to straighten up but he had no family to rely on.

“The only people he knew were on drugs,” Varner said. “They were his family to him.”

Porubsky was shot twice in the torso, the medical examiner said. Toxicology results were unavailable.

Events leading to the shooting started about 10:45 p.m. Sunday, when police responded to reports of a man who'd jumped the fence of a house in Stow, pounded on a door and asked for cigarettes, the Stow police radio log said.

Police located the man a couple of minutes before 11 p.m. and called in the trip to the shelter at 11:05 p.m., the log said. The trip took just under 14 minutes.

The Rev. Jeff Kaiser, executive director of the shelter, told the Akron Beacon Journal the shelter has a good relationship with police. He said it's not unusual for officers to bring people to the shelter.

The officer is on paid leave. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is overseeing the case.



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