AKRON, Ohio (AP) — 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 or grazed 46 times, according to a preliminary autopsy report released Friday by the Medical Examiners Office in Summit County.
The medical examiner detailed a summary of the report into Walker’s death at a news conference. The report had been finalized Thursday.
Akron police have acknowledged initial findings showed more than 60 wounds on Walker’s body. The June 27 pursuit began when officers tried to pull him over for equipment violations. Authorities say Walker fired a gunshot from his car 40 seconds into the chase.
An attorney for Walker’s family says there was no need for officers to kill him.
Preliminary findings released earlier indicated Walker’s body had more than 60 wounds. No information has been released about how many of those were entrance or exit wounds.
Police said he 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 Walker wearing a ski mask, 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 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 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.
The local police union has said the officers thought there was an immediate threat of serious harm, and that it believes their actions and the number of shots will be found justified in line with their training and protocols.
Police in neighboring New Franklin Township had tried to stop and then chased a car matching 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 Walker’s family, has said Walker did not deserve to die. DiCello said after Walker’s funeral service that he will hold police accountable for every round fired from their guns.