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Middlefield: Driver shot, killed is identified

9:46 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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  • Photo: Mentor POlice Department

MIDDLEFIELD -- Just before noon Monday, Geauga County Coroner, Dr. Robert Coleman has identified the man shot and killed by police officers Sunday.

Coleman said the man was James L. Gilkerson, 42, of Mentor-on-the-Lake.

A shooting involving police officers happened around 6 p.m. Sunday on Old State Road.

Two Middlefield police officers were shot by Gilkerson during what was believed to be a routine traffic stop. Police referred to the gun as a semi-automatic rifle.

Police say Officer Brandon Savage and Officer Erin Thomas pulled Gilkerson over while on patrol. Before they could exit their cruiser, he got out of his car and fired at the officers.

Officers then exited their cruiser and returned fire, killing Gilkerson.

Officer Thomas was shot in the hand. She was taken by a University Hospitals MedEvac helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center. She is still in the hospital and will be released in a day or two.

Officer Savage was hit in the leg by shrapnel and was taken to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center for treatment.  He has now been released and is at home healing.

Sheriff Dan McClelland says nothing indicated to officers that the stop wouldn't be routine. Investigators are trying to determine what may have caused the incident to escalate so fast. 

McClelland says, at this time, they haven't been able to determine how many shots were fired.


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