PARMA, Ohio — Two people are dead following a shooting early Saturday morning at a local bar, and officials have confirmed one of the victims was an off-duty Cuyahoga County corrections officer.
Parma police say they responded to the incident at Rookie Sports Bar & Grill around 2:13 a.m. Witnesses said 29-year-old Sean Michael Acierno was shot in the parking lot before security guard Timoteo "Tim" Cruz, a CCW holder, returned fire. While Cruz managed to hit the alleged shooter with one of his bullets, he himself was gunned down, and he and Acierno both died at the scene.
"Due to Cruz’s heroic actions, he most likely saved additional lives while giving up his own life as other bar patrons were still in the area or exiting the bar," Parma police Lt. Dan Ciryak wrote.
Both suspects, 30-year-old Luis Carlos Candelario and 27-year-old Juan Carlos Perez, were arrested before noon. The two brothers are being held without bond on aggravated murder charges and authorities say they recovered an AR-15 from the scene. It was not specified who allegedly shot both Acierno and Cruz.
Cruz, a 27-year-old Cleveland resident, had worked with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department since 2017.
Sheriff Christopher Viland released the following statement regarding Cruz's death:
"We would like to extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his family and those who were close to him. No words can ease the loss to those remaining.
"While we will not have any comments on the incident, or the currently ongoing criminal investigation, it appears from information we have at this time that Officer Cruz was killed while actively protecting the lives of innocent people. There is no more honorable of a path than to have sacrificed in the service of others."
The Parma Police Department will lead the investigation into both killings.