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Three more charges filed against man killed by Boardman police



Published: Sat, July 6, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

3 additional charges include felony assault and domestic violence

By Josh Stipanovich

jstipanovich@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

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.”


Comments

1Crazygal05(11 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Help is what he needed but the police are tired of domestic violence calls that just break up the problem for the night and then same ole same ole....but if he didn't shoot outside they just jumped the gun shooting back...guns and booze are bad news...throw in a domestic violent person it is deadly...and those poor kids are who I feel for.

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2NoBS(1940 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

The girlfriend needs her head examined, for a lot of reasons. She's an enabler. The fact that her daughter had to be the one to call 911 says a lot about the girlfriend - she accepted whatever "her man" did, whoever he hurt, all of it. She didn't see anything wrong, and still doesn't, about Fitton's behavior. She's grasping at straws as she tries to convince everyone Fitton was innocent. She's no different than that bimbo in Struthers whose boyfriend beat her child to death.

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32fer1(22 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Sadly, blame should not be the biggest issue in this circumstance. Simply getting emotional help for adults in this country is horrible. When the Reagan era did away with mental hospitals, and turned to drug companies to handle most of the country's psychological needs, it left the door wide open for no followup, self medication, and the underground treatment of these citizens in need of our help. The psychology wards we have now are mostly run by inept, well meaning staff. Those facilities are few and far between at best. It is way past time that people with emotional problems can get proper and adequate help without the stigma of the problem.

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42fer1(22 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Sadly, blame should not be the biggest issue in this circumstance. Simply getting emotional help for adults in this country is horrible. When the Reagan era did away with mental hospitals, and turned to drug companies to handle most of the country's psychological needs, it left the door wide open for no followup, self medication, and the poorly administered treatment of these citizens in need of our help. The psychology wards we have now are mostly run by inept, well meaning staff. Those facilities are few and far between at best. It is way past time that people with emotional problems can get proper and adequate help without the stigma of the problem.

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5ABORG(2 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Seriously... sounds like this " Girlfriend" is trying to work on a lawsuit, trying to claim wrongful death.... the police .probably saved her life and she is whining and trying to turn things around.
The police did a justified shooting end of story.
The "girlfriend" needs to be evaluated if she feels the police did wrong.

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6handymandave(480 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I've known Jack Nichols for quite awhile of his career from when he was a patrolman to when he sucked up to the trustees to become chief.
Wouldn't know how to be a real cop if his life depended upon it. Probably would have made a good insurance or car salesman.

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7Robert_Neville(123 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

The police did the right thing. The rules of engagement need to change in order to maintain law and order. The girlfriend should not have said anything. She could have been the one dead. She should be thanking them for what they did.

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