Man shot by city cop improves; chief hopes 3 probes end this week
By David Skolnick
An 18-year-old man shot by a city police officer is out of the intensive care unit, and any charges resulting from the shooting could be filed by midweek.
Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said he anticipates that three separate police investigations into Patrolman Phil Chance Jr.’s shooting of Cory R. Timmings will be done by that time. However, he added, the department needs to be thorough in its investigations so the results may take till the end of the week or possibly next week.
Timmings was shot in the parking lot of Pal Joey’s, a bar on East Midlothian Boulevard, at 2:36 a.m. Friday. A nursing supervisor at St. Elizabeth Health Center said late Saturday that he had been upgraded to stable condition.
Officer Chance was helping to break up a fight and disperse a large crowd at the bar when the shooting occurred, according to a police report.
The officer shouted to Timmings to lower the “very loud” music coming from his car, the police report states.
Rather than turn down the music, Timmings drove toward Chance, hitting the officer and forcing him up on the car’s hood, the report states.
The police report, written by Detective Sgt. James Pasquale, further states:
Timmings wouldn’t stop even though Chance, who rolled off to the driver’s side, told the 18-year-old man that he was under arrest.
Chance reached inside the car trying to turn off the ignition. Timmings then increased his speed, dragging Chance.
The officer, “fearing his life was in danger,” pulled out his gun and fired a shot inside the car toward the driver. Chance was then able to get off the car.
Timmings, shot in the upper back, sped away, but his car was pulled over by police on Lake Park Drive.
Chance was treated at St. Elizabeth in Boardman for injuries to his shoulder, arms, hip and knees. He is on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.
That’s standard procedure for Youngstown police when an officer shoots someone.
The police report recommends Timmings be charged with felonious assault and resisting arrest as Chance “felt the suspect struck him with the auto on purpose.”
Hughes said the investigations into the shooting are being conducted by the department’s internal affairs division, the detective bureau and the shooting team.
The latter consists of five officers who investigate every time an officer fires his weapon.
It’s customary that all three units investigate an incident such as this, the chief said.
“Just because he’s a police officer, Chance doesn’t have any more influence” than Timmings over the investigations, Hughes said. “We’re investigating everyone’s actions. If there was something wrong by the officer, he will be charged. If it’s [Timmings], then he’ll be charged.”
Officers have spoken to Chance, Timmings, Timmings’ family and witnesses, with further interviews to occur, the chief said. “The detectives will determine criminal charges and if the officer’s conduct was proper or improper,” he added.