Liberty road rage shooting leaves 2 hospitalized
A large police presence responded to a reported shooting caused by road rage at the corner of Belmont Avenue and E. Liberty Street in Liberty Township Friday afternoon.
The Liberty Police report states that a 911 caller saw a man walk up to a silver Mercedes on Belmont Avenue just before 3 p.m. and shot the driver in the face, then the suspect sped away from the scene in a black Hummer SUV.
After police officers arrived at the scene, they observed the Hummer driving west on E. Liberty Street and conducted a traffic stop near Ohio Puppy. At this point, the suspect exited his vehicle and began firing at officers and struck one patrol vehicle, according to a statement from the Liberty Township Police Department.
Officers returned fire and struck the suspect, who was taken to Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown in stable condition. The suspect's identity is being withheld pending further investigation, and charges against him are pending.
The victim was life-flighted to a Cleveland area hospital with life threatening injuries. His identity is still unknown.
Police departments from Liberty, Youngstown, Girard, Youngstown State University PD, Cortland, Vienna and Trumbull Co. Sheriff's Office and Ohio State Patrol reported to the scene.
No officers were injured.
Three Liberty officers are on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation regarding the officers' shooting, and the Liberty Police is handling the initial shooting caused by road rage.
There is no bodycam video, but there is dashcam video being reviewed.
According to a witness who was at the red light on E. Liberty Street facing east, a car was stopped on Belmont Avenue facing north near the bank, with a woman out of her car that seemed distressed or seeking help.
The eyewitness told 21 News that she was in her car with four children when she saw one officer on the scene in front of her vehicle, when she heard sirens approaching from behind her car at the corner of Belmont Avenue and E. Liberty Street.
She saw a police car do a u-turn behind her car and she then heard three gunshots and quickly fled the scene.
Another worker at nearby businesses told 21 News she heard what she believed were gunshots. An ambulance was seen leaving the scene.
"It's scary," said Melanie Meade, Manager at Boost Mobile on Belmont Ave. "Especially in the broad daylight, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock in the afternoon on a Friday at a busy intersection. It's very scary. It's unacceptable. This side of town is very safe, especially during the day."
The video provided by Paul Grant shows a police shoot-out with a suspect near a black Hummer SUV.
The Liberty Township Police Department is asking for witnesses who haven't spoken with police yet to call the department at 330-539-9847.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.