By Molly Walsh
CLEVELAND – Cleveland police officers are continuing their search for four suspects accused in the shooting of an officer on the East Side on Tuesday.
The officer, who has been with the department for about four years, was shot twice in the 2800 block of Cedar Avenue. The officer was hit once in the thigh and once in the arm. He is in the hospital but in stable condition, said Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said Wednesday afternoon.
Another officer at the scene placed a gag on the officer who was shot.
The two detectives were investigating Hyundai and Kia thefts in the area, said Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond. He added that the site often sees stolen vehicles left in the area.
“They came across what they thought was a stolen Kia,” he said. “Four suspects bailed out of the vehicle and they started running.”
The driver of the Kia fled and was chased by a detective. As the officer exited his police vehicle, the suspect fired several shots at him at close range, striking him twice. The driver then fled through the Cedar Estates Apartments.
Drummond said both officers chased the male suspects. One dropped a weapon during the chase. Three firearms were found at the scene, the police said.
Two other officers were involved in a crash near East 30th and Carnegie Avenue while responding to the incident. Paramedics transported the female officers, ages 49 and 52, to MetroHealth Medical Center. They are in stable condition, said Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said.
According to Drummond, the suspect who shot the officer was wearing a bright orange jacket. More details, including the suspect’s age, are not known.
Mayor Justin Bibb visited the officer in the hospital Tuesday night after the incident.
“While my greatest concern tonight is for the well-being of the officer and his family, I must also once again condemn the gun violence we are seeing in our city,” Bibb said in a statement. “We are doing everything in our power to bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice as we seek to change dangerous policies that have allowed the proliferation of guns on our streets. The violence must stop.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 216-623-5464. Anonymous information can be provided by calling Crimestoppers at 216-25-CRIME, and a cash reward of up to $5,000 may be available.
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