Three more charges filed against man killed by Boardman police

By Josh Stipanovich


Township police filed three additional charges Friday against Daniel A. Fitton Jr., the Boardman man shot and killed by police Wednesday night.

Fitton was killed in a standoff at a Cook Avenue apartment where he and his girlfriend lived.

Fitton initially was charged with inducing panic, but police, in an effort to complete the investigation, added domestic violence, aggravated assault and felonious assault charges to the documentation.

“They’re really not charges,” said Jack Nichols, police chief, adding that police can’t charge a dead person.

Police were called about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday to the 817 Cook Ave. four-plex after they were told Fitton had a gun inside the apartment with his girlfriend and two children.

Fitton barricaded himself in the apartment with the gun to his head when police arrived. After 69 phone calls by police in an attempt to negotiate with Fitton, he began firing his weapon inside the apartment. A couple of hours later, police saw Fitton break a window screen followed by a muzzle flash.

That’s when two officers returned fire, hitting Fitton in the upper chest.

Because of department policy, the two police officers were placed on paid administrative leave.

Nichols said Friday he expects to release their names next week.

The investigation is ongoing, and Nichols said police are waiting for toxicology and other reports, which “could take awhile.”

“What was put out yesterday by the prosecutor is what we’re going to stand on until everything is completed,” Nichols said.

Paul Gains, Mahoning County prosecutor, said he believes “it is a plausible theory that it was suicide by cop.”

But Lori Cramer, Fitton’s girlfriend, said she doesn’t believe Fitton fired at police.

In a Facebook message sent Friday morning, she said, “I found one bullet hole in the closet, but the police say he tore down the screen and shot out the window at them. However there was a hole in the screen so it’s not possible that that’s what happened. My take, he fired inside the apartment, and they just started shooting, and it upsets me that the people you call for help to try to get him help are the ones who did this.”

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