By Kevin Kelley
A manhunt involving officers from several area law enforcement agencies failed to apprehend the individual who reportedly fired several gunshots near a Center Ridge Road business Saturday afternoon.
At 12:05 p.m., a woman at an accounting firm located on Center Ridge Road called police to report the sound of several gunshots, Westlake police Capt. Guy Turner said. A police officer responding to the call heard one gunshot after he arrived to investigate, Turner added.
No one was injured in the shooting. No one saw the person doing the shooting, Turner said.
Police from Bay Village, Lakewood, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River, North Ridgeville and the Southeast Enforcement Bureau assisted Westlake officers in the search, as did the Cleveland Metropark Rangers. Police dogs were utilized in the manhunt, and a helicopter from the Ohio State Highway Patrol circled above the neighborhoods and wooded areas that surrounded the location of the gunfire.
Ballistic evidence was recovered from the area and sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for analysis, Turner said. Fox8 News later quoted Westlake police Lt. Ray Arcuri as saying police concluded a total of five shots had been fired into the building.
A disgruntled client of the accounting firm from which the gunshots were reported was arrested at the business five years ago after allegedly making threats, Turner told West Life. He added that it is too early to tell if that incident is related to today’s shooting, but police will investigate whether any connection exists.
Turner asked that anyone aware of any suspicious activity in that area contact Westlake police.
“If anyone heard shots fired in that area prior to today who did not call police, we’d like to hear about it,” Turner said.
By 6:30 p.m., police had reopened Center Ridge Road to traffic. That road had been closed to vehicles between Stearns-Crocker and Bradley roads much of Saturday afternoon. A section of Bradley Road, from Hilliard Road to the North Olmsted border, was also closed as police searched for the suspect.
Residents who voluntarily left their homes in the area of the search earlier in the day were told around 6 p.m. that they may return. Residents who remained home had been advised by police to stay indoors as the search proceeded during the afternoon hours.