AKRON, Ohio—Jayland Walker, the 25-year-old Black man killed in a hail of police gunfire in the Ohio city of Akron last month, was shot more than 40 times, according to a preliminary autopsy report released by the Medical Examiner’s Office in Summit County.
Dr. Lisa Kohler, the Summit County medical examiner, says it was impossible for her office to say which bullet killed Mr. Walker or the number of shots that were fired.
Mr. Walker “had several very devastating injuries that would cause death,” including injuries to his heart, lungs and arteries, Dr. Kohler said. She tallied 41 entry wounds and 5 wounds from bullets that grazed Mr. Walker.
Mr. Walker had five wounds in his back, but it’s impossible to say whether those came as he ran away or turned as he was being shot, Dr. Kohler said.
The medical examiner gave a summary of the report into Mr. Walker’s death at a July 15 news conference. The report was finalized the previous day.
Preliminary findings released earlier indicated Mr. Walker’s body had more than 60 wounds. Greta Johnson, Summit County communications director, said it was “very possible” that one bullet could cause several different entrance wounds.
Authorities claim the June 27 pursuit began when officers tried to pull him over for equipment violations. Authorities also claim Mr. Walker fired a gunshot from his car 40 seconds into the chase.
The medical examiner’s findings confirm the fact that Mr. Walker, unarmed and with no drugs or alcohol in his system, “came to a brutal, senseless death,” said Ken Abbarno, a lawyer representing the Walker family.
Dr. Kohler had said earlier that no drugs or alcohol were detected in Mr. Walker.
A message seeking comment on the autopsy findings was sent to a spokesperson for the police department.
The update came a day after the NAACP made a direct plea to Attorney General Merrick Garland for the Justice Department to open a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death.
Police claim Mr. Walker fled an attempted traffic stop for minor equipment violations and fired a shot from his car during the vehicle chase, but he wasn’t armed when officers shot him.
Police body camera footage shows Mr. Walker jumping out the front passenger door of his still-moving car and then running into a parking lot where police opened fire. That blurry footage does not clearly show what authorities say was a threatening gesture made by Mr. Walker before he was shot.
An unloaded handgun, an ammunition clip and what appeared to be a wedding band were found on the front driver’s seat of Mr. Walker’s car, authorities said.
The officers involved are on paid leave while the state investigates the shooting. Seven of those officers are White, and one is Black. None of them has a record of discipline, substantiated complaints or fatal shootings, according to the police department.
Police in neighboring New Franklin Township say officers tried to stop and then chased a car matching Mr. Walker’s for the same minor equipment violations less than 24 hours before the Akron chase. A supervisor there called off the pursuit when the car crossed the township’s border with Akron.
Bobby DiCello, an attorney for the Walker family, has said Mr. Walker did not deserve to die. Atty. DiCello said after Mr. Walker’s funeral service that he will hold police accountable for every round fired from their guns. (AP)