Gunman shot by police

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 1

After a chase through a residential area, two Toledo police officers fired on a man who pointed a rifle at them yesterday in West Toledo, shooting him multiple times, police said.

William Metcalf, 32, of Alma, Mich., who did not fire at the officers, was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition last night.

Acting police Chief Mike Navarre said the suspect appears to have been shot five times in the arm and leg.

The incident began about 1 p.m. when Officer Reid Werner saw a pickup truck traveling west on West Sylvania Avenue, near Lewis Avenue. Bottles were spilling out of the truck’s bed, breaking on the pavement, according to Lt. Leo Eggert.

The officer stopped the truck and asked to see the driver’s operator’s license. The driver did not have one, but gave Officer Werner what police believe was a fake name.

When the officer could not confirm the man’s identity by checking records, he asked the man to step out of the truck.

The man drove away, westbound on Sylvania.

Officer Werner called for backup and began to pursue the truck, which turned north on North Lockwood Avenue, a residential area.

As the truck continued up Lock wood, its passenger opened his door and jumped out, fleeing on foot.

The truck turned right onto Martin Avenue.

After turning, the truck spun out of control, police said, and stopped in the middle of the street. Officer Werner pulled his car up to the truck. Then, according to police, the suspect opened his door and pointed a 30-30 rifle at the officer.

“I’m not going to jail,” the man said, according to Lieutenant Eggert.

At this point, Sgt. Don Clark arrived, stopping his car behind Officer Werner’s. He got out and moved behind his unit’s right rear.

The officers pulled their 9mm handguns and asked the suspect to lower his rifle. When he did not, they opened fire. Officer Werner fired once; Sergeant Clark, 7 times, police said.

The other suspect, who jumped from the moving truck, was captured by officers outside a pizza restaurant on Sylvania Avenue. He was questioned at the police department’s Northwest district station and released.

Officers marked several bullets and bullet fragments strewn across Martin.

A gun blast, presumably from Sergeant Clark, smashed a hole in the rear window of Officer Werner’s police car.

As is the case anytime a Toledo officer fires a gun, the incident will be investigated by the department’s firearms review board, which will judge whether the shootings were justified. Sergeant Clark and Officer Werner are veteran officers.

“It doesn’t appear to be a questionable shooting,” Chief Navarre said last night. “The police and witness accounts match up.”

This was the fourth time police have shot someone in the line of duty in 1998.

Two of the shootings happened on Feb. 13, including the high-profile case of Joseph Chappell. He killed two women, shot at and wounded two firefighters, stabbed two children, and shot at police before three officers shot and kill ed him at one of Toledo’s busiest intersections.

Earlier that day, a man in the back of a police car wiggled free of his handcuffs, moved into the front seat, and tried to drive away. During a struggle with an officer, the officer’s gun fired, hitting the suspect in the side. The shooting was judged to be an accident.

On Jan. 30, police were called to the apartment of LeShawn Pitts, 18, a suicidal Davis College student. When Mr. Pitts began waving a shotgun at officers from his window, three officers fired a total of seven shots at him.

One nicked him in the arm; the others missed. Mr. Pitts then shot and killed himself.