Police looking for suspect after off-duty officer shot at in Howland

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The search for a suspect continues after an officer-involved shooting on Monday in Howland Township.

Howland Township Police Chief Nick Roberts has sent out a BOLO alert for the alleged suspect. He is described as a black male in his mid-30s with a thin build. He is around 6 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored hoodie and athletic shoes. Police say he spoke in a high-toned voice and is armed with a silver revolver.

He was driving a full-sized, early 2000s model black SUV. Officials last spotted him heading southbound on Pine Avenue. If you spot the suspect or vehicle, you’re asked to call the police and not approach him.

According to Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel, the Warren officer was off duty at the time and stopped to help out what he thought was a disabled vehicle in the area of Pine Avenue. The incident somehow escalated and both parties fired shots.

After the shooting, the officer said he thought he was hit but wasn’t.

“When I initially came out here, it was reported to us that he was shot two times, but he was wearing his bulletproof vest and that they did not penetrate. But the story has changed that he didn’t have his vest on,” Chief Roberts said. “Like I said, he was off duty and returning home from work, and he was not hit by any rounds.”

Chief Merkel also confirmed that the officer was not wearing a bulletproof vest since he was not on duty.

The officer involved was taken to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution. He has since been released and was not hurt.

At one point, dozens of police officers converged in the area of Mauro Circle in Niles.

Officials say they were in the area because a vehicle matching the description of the one involved in the shooting fled from Niles police. At this point, they are not believed to be involved in the shooting incident.

The Howland Township Police Department has called in the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to assist.

The Warren Police Department will be doing its own investigation.

Police say they are not releasing the officer’s name at this time.

 

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