August 22, 2014

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Police scramble to find gunman after shots fired in Westlake

Police from several cities search for a gunman near Bradley Road in Westlake on Saturday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Police from several cities search for a gunman near Bradley Road in Westlake on Saturday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

WESTLAKE — Gunfire shattered the window of a small accounting firm on Saturday, prompting a six-hour-long manhunt for the shooter, which yielded no results.

Around noon Saturday, shots were heard around Center Ridge and Bradley roads. One shot struck an accounting firm on 30700 Center Ridge Road and another was fired in the direction of officers on the scene, according to a press release.

No injuries were reported, but the shots prompted a response from multiple police departments including North Olmsted, Westlake, Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood, Rocky River, North Ridgeville, Clevelands Metroparks rangers and the Westshore Enforcement SWAT Bureau.

“If you’re going to fire another shot with a police officer present, that indicates a certain level of violence,” Westlake police Capt. Guy Turner said at a press conference Saturday, adding that it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits.

Residents in the area were told to evacuate or stay inside during the search which lasted until about 6 p.m. Saturday.

Police look for evidence after an accounting firm on Center Ridge Road in Westlake reported it was struck by a bullet.

Police look for evidence after an accounting firm on Center Ridge Road in Westlake reported it was struck by a bullet.

Officers set up a perimeter around Bradley and Crocker roads, south of Center Ridge Road, soon after the shots were heard. For four hours, they scoured the woods around the area on horseback and on foot with police dogs while an Ohio Highway Patrol helicopter searched from above.

Center Ridge Road between Magnolia Parkway and Bradley Road was closed for most of the search, as well as parts of Bradley Road.

Turner addressed the incident at a media press conference Saturday afternoon. Police had no description of the shooter and were searching for evidence about the type of gun used in the shooting, he said. However, Turner called the situation “increasingly worrisome” because shots were fired in the area of a police officer.

Some residents who were asked to stay inside during the ordeal said the shooting was unusual for a place like Westlake.

“It’s kind of weird for Westlake … if it was something serious, someone would have come to the door,” said Bob Kalapis, who lives in the area on Bradley Road. “It’s a little strange to look outside and see 30 SWAT guys in your backyard.”

Christine Frey, who also lives on Bradley Road, was away from home during the gunfire but said she was alarmed to look at her phone and see texts from her friends, asking if she was all right.

“That freaked me out,” Frey said.

The area was cleared and roads reopened, but no shooter was found, according to a news release.

Reporter Chelsea Miller contributed to this story.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

  • Donald Duck

    AMERIKA 2014. “Wow what over kill” !! A waste of taxpayers dollars.

    • tommtomm

      u must be one of the mcdonalds workers that wants 15bucks an hour to make a burger and pick his a….. or a 50yr old man living in mammas basement playing x box. for your info the swat team that was deployed was formed with officers from several depts, they have special funds for these things money set aside. some depts if your swat u dont get the overtime if called out. and yes if i was someone that was killed they would have surrounded the area. cop fireman or not. think twice about bashing public safety cause not everyone would run into a burning building or go light an sirens to a shots fired call and be shot at like the officer did in westlake. keep playing call of duty donald jacka…. and when someone robbs you or your house catches on fire dont call the person who make 39k a year to come save your fat a,…… if you dont like AMERICA NOT AMERIKA u disrespectful puke then leave your prob a towlehead anyways

  • tommtomm

    waste of tax payer money, they were probably already getting paid just had to respond to that. as far as overkill, its a safety thing when people think its funny to shoot at buildings and police officer. people need to keep their stupid comments to their self

    • Donald Duck

      When we take police from other Cities it does cost an extreme amount of money. Because those Cities have to call in and pay overtime to replacements position. I bet it was a drone, and a drill.

      • Donald Duck

        Oh! by the way, if this had been a store clerk that had been robbed and shot at, would all these police department shown up and helped out? NO !!! It is because a officer was supposedly shot at. We put the police and the fire up on pedestals and all they do is laugh there behinds off at the tax payer as they go off into the sunset on plush retirements.

  • tommtomm

    donald duck u must be one of the mcdonalds workers that wants 15bucks an hour to make a burger and pick his a….. or a 50yr old man living in mammas basement playing x box. for your info the swat team that was deployed was formed with officers from several depts, they have special funds for these things money set aside. some depts if your swat u dont get the overtime if called out. and yes if i was someone that was killed they would have surrounded the area. cop fireman or not. think twice about bashing public safety cause not everyone would run into a burning building or go light an sirens to a shots fired call and be shot at like the officer did in westlake. keep playing call of duty donald jacka…. and when someone robbs you or your house catches on fire dont call the person who make 39k a year to come save your fat a,…… if you dont like AMERICA NOT AMERIKA u disrespectful puke then leave your prob a towlehead anyways