Portage sheriff’s deputy warns before fatal shooting

Advertisements

Graphic footage released Tuesday by the Garrettsville Police Department captures 15 shots fired after a sheriff’s deputy entered a garage on Werger Road in Windham to investigate a dispute between neighbors.

The incident ended in the death of Cora Baughman.

She was shot multiple times in the chest and twice in the legs, according to comments made by officers at the scene on the video.

The Beacon Journal requested footage from the Garrettsville Police Department and Portage County Sheriff’s Office.

The Beacon Journal also has requested – but not received – the personnel files of responding deputies and any available video footage from the sheriff’s office.

Cora Baughman steps out from the open garage of a home captured in this screenshot from footage of a camera worn by a Garrettsville police officer who responded with a sheriff's deputy in front of him to Werger Road on the morning of May 14.

Cora Baughman steps out from the open garage of a home captured in this screenshot from footage of a camera worn by a Garrettsville police officer who responded with a sheriff’s deputy in front of him to Werger Road on the morning of May 14.

The footage from the Garrettsville officer begins around 9:30 am on May 14. The officer pulls up to the scene as a sheriff’s deputy exits his cruiser and walks toward the house.

Authorities were responding to a 911 call from a resident who said his neighbor, Baughman, entered his garage and pointed a gun at him.

As the two officers approach the house, the deputy shouts, “Which houses?”

Baughman appears in the open entrance of the car garage.

“Ma’am, drop it now. You will be shot,” one of the officers shouts.

Baughman has her hands up as the officers get closer.

“What’s in your hand now, ma’am? Ma’am? Drop it!” an officer shouts.

Baughman turns her back to the officers and walks slowly back into the garage between two large vehicle parked inside.

“Drop it now. Drop it,” an officer shouts.

At this point, footage from the camera worn by the Garrettsville officer is obscured by the side of the garage and an SUV parked inside. The camera does not capture the deputy or Baughman.

A steady succession of 15 rounds are fired. When back in view of the camera, Baughman is lying on the floor beneath a work bench at the back of the garage.

“Shots fired. Shots fired. Subject down, ”the deputy says over his radio.

“Put your hands behind your back,” the deputy shouts.

Baughman is handcuffed face down as blood pools under her body.

The deputy puts on plastic gloves. The Garrettsville officer asks if the deputy is alright.

“I’m good,” the deputy says.

“I’m going to go get a medical bag,” the Garrettsville officer says, running out of the garage and down the driveway to retrieve a medical kit from the back of his cruiser parked on the street.

As the Garrettsville officer returns to the garage, the deputy yells: “Damn it.

“I’m not hit. Ah. [Expletive] man. “

“What do you need?” the Garettsville officer asks as the officers are joined by others who administer first aid and check on the man and wife inside the home.

“She’s got multiple to the chest, two to the leg as well,” the deputy says.

The officers then apply pressure and bandages to try to stop the bleeding.

From the dashboard camera of the Garrettsville police car, a person is seen running towards the home with a bag at 9:43 am An ambulance arrives at 9:45 am Baughman is taken away four minutes later.

Baughman, 66, was pronounced dead at UH Portage Medical Center, according to a statement released on Facebook later that day by Portage County Sheriff Bruce Zuchowski.

“At this time, details will remain vague due to an ongoing investigation and until all family members are notified,” Zuchowski said in the social media post on the day of the shooting. “An update will be communicated when available.”

Zuchowksi has not made another statement since the incident. He has declined multiple requests to comment. The sheriff did not answer his cell phone Tuesday.

Garrettsville Police Chief Tim Christopher said his responding officer, who does not appear to have fired his weapon, was placed on paid administrative leave until May 22.

It’s unclear if the deputy involved is on leave. Zuchowski turned over the investigation of deadly force to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the state Attorney General’s Office.

Steve Irwin, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said the deputy is not being named because he is being treated as an “uncharged suspect in our investigation.”

Reach reporter Doug Livingston at [email protected] or 330-996-3792.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Video: 15 shots fired in incident that killed Cora Baughman in Windham