GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — An off-duty police officer working security at a Cleveland-area hospital shot and critically wounded a man early Thursday after the patient tried to rip away the officer’s holstered handgun and used the officer’s stun gun on police officers and a nurse, a police detective said.
The 45-year-old Cleveland man is in critical but stable condition in a hospital trauma unit where he was flown to after being shot at Marymount Hospital in Garfield Heights.
Cleveland police and paramedics took the man, who’s not been identified, to the Marymount emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, Garfield Heights police Sgt. Jim Mendolera said. The man initially acted calm after being placed in a treatment room. Two hours later, the man became fixated on the off-duty officer’s handgun, lunged at the officer and grabbed the holstered weapon with both hands, Mendolera said.
Two hospital police officers joined the struggle and helped free the man’s grip from the holster. The off-duty officer and one of the hospital policemen then used stun guns on the man with no apparent effect, Mendolera said. As the officers and a nurse tried to subdue the man, the man grabbed the off-duty officer’s stun gun and jolted the officers and a nurse.
When the officers drew their handguns and ordered the man to drop the stun gun, the man crouched in a “fighting position” and lunged at them, Mendolera said. The off-duty officer fired one shot that struck the man in the shoulder blade.
There are indications the man was high on a hallucinogen, possibly the drug PCP, which can give users extraordinary strength, Mendolera said.
The off-duty officer and nurse were treated for minor injuries.
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