Ohio police pursuit ends with suspect killing 13-year-old

Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-21 21:18:15-05

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — A police chase that began with a carjacking in Cleveland ended with a 15-year-old suspect striking and killing a teenage girl in a neighboring city, authorities said.

The girl has been identified as 13-year-old Tamia Chappman, a sixth-grade student at an elementary school in East Cleveland. A gun was confiscated from the 15-year-old during his arrest. Police are searching for a second suspect who fled on foot.

The chase began with the 15-year-old robbing a man of his car at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Target store on Cleveland's west side on Friday afternoon, police said. An off-duty police officer witnessed the robbery and followed the car onto a nearby interstate. An on-duty Cleveland police supervisor took up the pursuit, which ended roughly 15 miles away in East Cleveland with a crash and the girl's death, police said.

Several cars and a police cruiser were damaged. Police have not released any additional details.

The Cleveland Division of Police in 2014 revised its pursuit policy after a 2012 chase that began in downtown Cleveland near police headquarters ended in an East Cleveland school parking lot, where 13 Cleveland officers fired 137 rounds into a car, killing two unarmed black suspects.

The new policy bars Cleveland officers from pursuing vehicles unless the driver is a felony suspect or is believed to be intoxicated. It also limits the number of cruisers that can trail the primary pursuer to two in most instances. More than 60 police cars were involved in the 2012 pursuit.

Cleveland paid the families of suspects who were killed, Timothy Russell and Malissa Wiliams, a total of $3 million to settle lawsuits. Their deaths helped prompt an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department that led to a court-monitored consent decree to reform the police department. That federal oversight remains in place.