East Cleveland: Rapid fire lasts longer than 20 seconds

2:16 PM, Dec 1, 2012   |    comments
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EAST CLEVELAND -- One mysterious gunshot adds up to more than 137 bullets fired and two people dead.

Dash camera video released to Channel 3 shows police fired on the suspects for longer than 20 seconds.

Police say the incident started on St. Clair Avenue on Thursday night near the Justice Center.

An officer saw the car drive past and one of the occupants appeared to have fired a shot at or in the vicinity of the officer.

An East Cleveland Police detective told Channel 3 that the suspects who were shot and killed are Timothy Ray Russell, 43, of Maple Heights, who was driving, and Malissa Williams, 30,  who was the passenger.

The Medical Examiner removed the bodies from the car about 5 p.m. Friday, Spotts said.

Late Friday night, East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts confirmed that no gun or weapon was found in the car.

In a 7 p.m. press conference, Spotts said no shell casings were found in the car.

At the press conference, Cleveland Police Chief Mike McGrath said that the pursuit lasted 25 minutes, that 13 Cleveland police officers were involved in the situation, and 137 rounds were fired by police.

All 13 police officers were placed on administrative leave.

McGrath said it was determined that the bullet holes in the police cars were caused by police weapons.

Spotts said no East Cleveland police officers were on the scene when the pursuit ended.

Two Cleveland Police officers outside the Justice Center say the shot came from the suspects' car.

Police chased the suspect car first west, then south, then east along I-90.

At least 26 officers from Cleveland Police and Bratenahl were involved by the time the chase ended near the intersection of Terrace Road and Wymore Avenue, by Heritage Middle School.

"I'm hearing these sirens and everything, and the sirens they sounded like they was real close and what not. By the time I get and look, I see the lights flashing and everything. Here comes the car zooming straight up the hill," said William Greer, who lives nearby.

Then an explosion of gunfire followed.

East Cleveland detectives say up to 137 bullets were fired, leaving the windshield littered with holes -- like a scene in a mob movie.

"It was the gunfire that didn't stop that scared me. As soon as I heard it, I just grabbed my son and hit the floor and waited... until it was all over with," said another neighbor.

When police ceased fire, both suspects were dead.

Investigators are processing evidence from the car, and the medical examiner is completing autopsies on the two victims.

East Cleveland police are leading the investigation into the deaths, which will include interviews with all the officers involved. No officers were injured.

The car involved, a 1979 Chevy, was not reported stolen.


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