The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday that no charges will be filed in connection with the March 19 fatal shooting involving an off-duty Kent police officer at her Munroe Falls home.
“This was a very unfortunate incident and we feel both for the family of Adam Jovicic and for Officer Sarah Berkey,” Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement. “We thoroughly investigated the tragic events of March 19 and found Ms. Berkey to be within her lawful rights to use deadly force. Ms. Berkey found herself under attack in her own home and was forced to defend herself.”
Walsh said a review of reports, statements, photos and physical evidence corroborates Berkey’s account of the shooting. She noted that Ohio law presumes self-defense in instances where an intruder enters a home unlawfully.
“As a result, Ms. Berkey’s use of deadly force was both legally justified, and under the circumstances, appropriate,” Walsh wrote in her report to Munroe Falls Police Chief Tom Pozza.
Initial police reports and Berkey’s 911 call from her cellphone appeared to reveal that Jovicic, her former boyfriend, had broken inside her home and had begun assaulting her.
Berkey then shot Jovicic twice, and he died at Summa Akron City Hospital.
Police say Jovicic, 29, who served as a medic with the Ohio Army National Guard since 2006, was intoxicated when he forced his way through the front door of Berkey’s home.
It does not appear that Jovicic was armed when he broke inside.
Jovicic, a Stow-Munroe Falls High School graduate and avid weightlifter, worked as a corrections officer for the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center for about two years before resigning Feb. 21. He was married to another woman in January.
In her call to 911, Berkey can be heard screaming and crying in the background while Jovicic confronts her.
In her report, Walsh said that Berkey was “punched, kicked, choked” and threatened with death by Jovicic. At one point, she managed to lock herself in her bedroom, where she had a firearm. Jovicic, however, broke through the bedroom door and began to struggle for the weapon. During the struggle, Jovicic was shot twice.
“My God, he came over, he broke in and he was beating me up and I shot him,” Berkey said in her call as officers arrived.