Police shoot driver after high-speed chase of van carrying kids
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — A man driving a van with a woman and three children inside led police on a high-speed chase in Ohio before he was stopped, reached down to light a cigarette and was fatally shot by an officer, according to a police dispatch log.
The Tuesday chase began in Strongsville, about 20 miles south of downtown Cleveland, and ended in Medina County after the van went across spike strips laid across Interstate 71. The county coroner identified the driver as 37-year-old Roy Evans Jr.
WJW-TV reported that the woman was Evans’ girlfriend and that the children belonged to the couple. The woman and children were not injured.
Ohio Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said Thursday that no weapons were found in the van during a search by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is investigating the shooting.
“We are still investigating to determine whether or not the van itself was used as a weapon,” Del Greco said.
The dispatch log indicated that the van rammed one of the Strongsville police cruisers during the 14-minute chase.
Few details about the shooting have been released beyond the Strongsville police dispatch log. It lists brief descriptions of radio calls made by officers.
The first police radio call was logged shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and indicated that a Strongsville officer had tried to stop a van traveling north on I-71 and that pursuit speeds quickly reached 100 mph. The van exited the interstate before re-entering the interstate on its southbound lanes. The officer reported that the van was traveling with no headlights on and that its engine was “smoking.”
Minutes later, an officer said the Ohio State Highway Patrol was setting up spike strips. The dispatch report said the van ran over the spike strips at more than 90 mph. Three minutes later, an officer reported that a “balding” white male was reportedly seen “reaching down below, lighting a cigarette.” An entry a minute later said shots were fired.
Strongsville has not identified the officer who fired the fatal shot.
Del Greco said none of the Strongsville officers was wearing body cameras, but their cruisers were equipped with dashboard cameras.