Phil Trexler

An Akron man was shot and killed by police early Thursday after leading officers on a short chase and drawing a pistol on them in a Fire­stone Park neighborhood, authorities said.

Dawayne Lavar Grant Sr., 35, of Mapledale Avenue, was shot three times in the torso, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The shooting unfolded in the 1400 block of Dietz Avenue shortly after 7 a.m. Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said an officer tried to stop a GMC Envoy that Grant was driving.

Instead of pulling over, Grant led officers on a slow pursuit, about 25 mph, around Firestone Park and nearby streets, police said.

After several minutes, Grant stopped the white SUV on?Dietz and ran up a driveway and into a backyard, where officers say he stopped and drew a gun.

The officers ordered Grant to drop the weapon, and when he did not, they fired several shots, Zampelli said. Police recovered a weapon belonging to Grant at the scene, he said.

Zampelli said it is unclear whether Grant fired at the officers or why he did not surrender.

County court records show an active warrant for Grant — for failure to appear on a misdemeanor charge of violating a protection order. He had a lengthy arrest record, mostly misdemeanors.

Grant was a North High graduate who played football and ran track.

Family members declined to comment about the shooting.

The officers who fired at Grant have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is routine in officer-involved shootings. Typically, the department investigates the shootings and then turns over its report to Summit County prosecutors for review.

Paul Hlynsky, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said the officers, whose names were not released, acted within the scope of the law, and Grant’s refusal to peacefully surrender “doesn’t make sense.”

Hlynsky and union lawyers interviewed the senior patrolmen.

“Through our interview, with our union lawyers, we stand behind the actions of the officers. They acted bravely and correctly,” Hlynsky said. “Emotionally, obviously, the stress of a deadly force incident takes its toll, but they’re doing OK.”

Witness describes scene

Ian McFedries, who lives on the property where the shooting took place, said he was half awake and watching ESPN when he heard two shots, followed by about five more.

He jumped up, looked outside and saw a man lying on the concrete driveway. Officers were trying to talk to the man.

“I didn’t know what was wrong with [the shooting victim at first],” McFedries said. “He was on his back and they were trying to talk to him. They said something like, ‘Can you talk to me? Can you talk?’ I never heard a response.”

Grant was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital, where he died a short time later.

McFedries has lived in the neighborhood for 35 years and said the area is a normally peaceful setting, with neighbors who look out for each other.

“It was a shock, absolutely,” he said.

Police Auditor Phil Young was called to the scene. His job is to review the shooting once the department’s internal investigation is complete.

He complimented police on their work early in the investigation. He said a lieutenant on the scene pulled a dash camera disc from one of the cruisers involved in the chase that will be reviewed as part of the internal investigation.

“I’m not trying to find out what happened or how it happened,” he said. “I’m just trying to make sure we get a good-quality, fair, objective investigation, a thorough investigation, and from what I’ve seen today, I think we’re on the right track of doing that.”

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com.