NEW FRANKLIN — There had been trouble before at the duplex at the end of the cul-de-sac, a neighbor said.
In the summer, people could hear fights and screaming on Menlo Court. Once, last autumn, a woman who lived there turned up on a neighbor's doorstep begging him to call police, saying her boyfriend had beaten her, said the neighbor who didn't want to be publicly identified.
Yet nothing prepared this residential enclave off Vanderhoof Road for what happened overnight Thursday — a standoff that ended in gunfire, killing a man who lived at the duplex and seriously wounding a Barberton police officer on the SWAT team.
The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office on Friday identified the dead man as 49-year-old Charles L. Cook.
Brandon Watson, 36, the wounded SWAT officer, is a 12-year veteran of the Barberton Police Department and a U.S. Army veteran. Watson, a father of four, was shot below the knees in both legs. He was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital where he was listed in stable condition late Friday afternoon after undergoing surgery.
The incident, like the other trouble described at the home where Cook lived, started with domestic violence, police said.
New Franklin officers went to the duplex about 7 p.m. The neighbor said police told him they found the woman severely beaten.
Cook, meanwhile, had barricaded himself inside a bedroom with a loaded handgun, police said.
For three hours, officers tried to talk Cook — who has multiple convictions in Summit County involving domestic violence — into surrendering. He wouldn't budge. Police ultimately called in the area SWAT team about 10 p.m.
Authorities continued to coax Cook to surrender until about 3 a.m., when Cook apparently fired his gun through a door, striking the Barberton officer.
Other officers on scene — it was not clear how many — returned fire, shooting Cook, who died at the scene.
On Friday morning, about eight hours after the shooting, the cul-de-sac was filled with investigators from the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, police and the media, all trying to figure out what happened.
A broken window on the second floor of the duplex showed where some of the trouble unfolded.
Summit County court records show Cook was married at least once and divorced and had four children who moved with their mother to West Virginia.
He has faced three felony cases involving domestic violence, stalking or violating a restraining order in Summit County between 1996 until 2009.
In the last case, he was sentenced in 2009 to two years in Belmont Correctional Institution.
When he was released, more trouble followed.
Court records show he worked as a truck driver hauling hazardous waste materials. He lost his commercial driver's license after a 2011 accident.
In that case, he was convicted of aggravated vehicular assault, operating under the influence and failure to control and sent to prison. He was released in 2015 and sought to have his license reinstated, but it was not immediately clear whether he succeeded.
On Friday, the neighbor who had witnessed the man's temper didn't seem shaken by his death.
"I don't like people who hit women so I didn't like him from the beginning," the neighbor said. "He was loud and obnoxious."
Barberton officials, meanwhile, expressed relief that the wounded officer would survive.
"This is a good time for all of us to take a moment and reflect on the difficult and dangerous circumstances under which our safety forces perform their duties on a daily basis," Barberton Mayor William B. Judge said in a prepared statement. "I am extremely grateful for their willingness to protect and serve the residents of Barberton and surrounding communities.
This is at least the third Greater Akron officer shot in recent years.
In 2017, a man with a history of confrontations with police opened fire on two Uniontown officers who showed up at his house for a domestic violence complaint. Sgt. David White, then a 25-year police veteran, survived after being shot four times. He has since retired.
In 2014, off-duty Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner was shot to death while trying to break up a confrontation at Papa Don's Pub on East Market Street. Winebrenner was not armed at the time. Five others at the pub were also wounded by gunfire during the incident.
Beacon Journal reporter Rick Armon contributed to this report. Amanda Garrett can be reached at 330-996-3725 or firstname.lastname@example.org.