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'A senseless act of violence': Cleveland city officials rule fatal shooting of police officer Shane Bartek as a line of duty death

"Let's keep the family of Shane Bartek in our prayers as we mourn his loss."

CLEVELAND — Cleveland city officials announced Wednesday that the fatal shooting of police officer Shane Bartek will be categorized as a 'line of duty' death. The announcement came just hours before a special vigil for Bartek was held outside of the Cleveland Division of Police's Fifth District station.

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb was joined by interim police chief Wayne Drummond and safety director Karrie Howard for a video statement on Wednesday afternoon. The decision to classify Bartek's death as in the line of duty came after a review of the incident was conducted by the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cleveland Department of Law.

"During our review, we observed that Officer Bartek utilized training that he received in our police academy to try to disarm the subject," Drummond stated. "Our conclusion was that it was a line of duty death."

The shooting that took Bartek's life happened in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 4300 block of Rocky River Drive around 6 p.m. on Decermber 31. Bartek was off-duty at the time. He was later pronounced dead at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital. 

In its report released on Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office stated that Bartek's death was a homicide due to a gunshot wound of the chest with vascular, visceral, and skeletal injuries.

The alleged murder suspect in Bartek’s death – 18-year-old Tamara McLoyd – made her first court appearance Monday morning in which a Cleveland judge issued a $5 million bond for the charge of aggravated murder. McLoyd is due back in court next week for a preliminary hearing next week on Tuesday, Jan. 11. A second suspect, Anthony Butler Jr., was also arrested and held on a $5 million bond. He’s accused of leading police on a pursuit while behind the wheel of Bartek’s vehicle.

"As the son of a cop, I recognize the important sacrifice law enforcement officers and their familes make to keep our communities safe and secure," Bibb added during the video statement. "Let's keep the family of Shane Bartek in our prayers as we mourn his loss." 

Funeral arrangements for Shane Bartek were announced on Tuesday and will take place next week. Bartek's family will greet mourners during a Monday wake at Grace Church in Middleburg Heights from 4-8 p.m. Services will take place at the same location on Tuesday, Jan. 11, with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park. Both sports are in the area where Bartek, a Berea-Midpark High School graduate, grew up. There is also a memorial scholarship fund created in Bartek's honor with the Cleveland Foundation. Click here for more.

Because the death of Bartek is being ruled as happening in the line of duty, the city of Cleveland is obligated to pay for a full funeral with honors. 

"The decision to declare Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek as a “line of duty” death is the right decision.  Safety officers and public servants are never really off duty. The financial aid to Officer Bartek’s family, while a help, doesn’t in anyway alleviate or make up for the loss of their beloved son and friend," said Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin in a statement.

You can read the city's statement below:

"On December 31, 2021, Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek was shot and killed in a senseless act of violence.  A thorough review of the relevant factors of the incident was conducted the Cleveland Division of Police by way of a Line of Duty Review Committee and the Cleveland Department of Law, resulting in the decision that Officer Bartek’s death will be categorized as occurring in the Line of Duty.  Please keep Officer Shane Bartek’s family, friends and the entire Cleveland Division of Police in your prayers as we all continue to mourn this abhorrent tragedy."

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