By Ed Runyan
There is no police-car videotape of the shooting death of Taemarr L. Walker, 24, who died after being shot by a Warren police officer early Saturday.
Police car 78, which media outlets have reported was being used by Patrolman Michael Krafcik, is not equipped with video capabilities, Traci Timko Rose, assistant Warren law director, said Monday.
Other police cars responded quickly to the officer, but the 1:50 a.m. shooting already had occurred by the time they arrived, Timko Rose said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, Trumbull County coroner, has ruled Walker’s death a homicide, the result of multiple gunshot wounds. The number of gunshot wounds was not available Monday.
Officially, the patrolman involved is not being identified. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the probe, and Krafcik is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
The Warren Police Department was reviewing the in-car video and audio from the other cruisers Monday, Timko Rose said.
Krafcik reponded to a report of an abandoned vehicle that had crashed near the intersection of Risher Road Southwest and Palmyra Road Southwest when Walker arrived in a separate vehicle. There was no one from the abandoned vehicle in the area, Timko Rose said.
According to the 911 recording of the police call, Krafcik found the car unoccupied, but soon asked for backup because another car with two people inside had arrived, one with a gun. Krafcik can be heard telling the people in the car, “Put your hands up.”
A short time later, Krafcik asks for an ambulance for Walker. Krafcik was not injured.
Authorities recovered two weapons from Walker’s vehicle, but police would not confirm whether Walker had pointed a weapon at the officer.
Walker had a lengthy arrest record of serious felony charges dating back a year, but his most high-profile case was Jan. 18, 2009, when police said he shot and killed Ahmaze D. King, 26, at an apartment on Lancer Court where King was visiting a young woman.
Walker was never charged with killing King, but he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm for using a gun the night of King’s death, for cocaine possession in 2008 and other 2009 gun and theft crimes. Walker was sentenced to one year in prison.
Walker, who lived on Jackson Street Southwest in 2009, lived on Kenwood Drive Southwest more recently.
Police went to Detroit on Dec. 28, 2012, and brought Walker back to Warren to face charges related to a robbery at the Pit Stop gas station, 1708 Youngstown Road SE, on Oct. 11, 2012; and an aggravated robbery in Niles. A Trumbull County jury refused to indict him on either charge Oct. 10.
He was named in several other complaints through the Warren Police Department this year.
On April 16, a woman reported that Walker had pulled a gun on another female near the Trumbull Art Galley on East Market Street. One day earlier, he was a suspect in a menacing complaint at Carmen’s Pizza on Youngstown Road.
A week before that, a woman reported that Walker had threatened to shoot a female and blow up her house, according to Warren police reports. Warren Municipal Court records indicate he was never charged in any of the three complaints.
At the time of his death, Walker was under indictment in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for failure to comply with the orders of a Niles police officer and tampering with evidence in Niles on May 5.
He was charged in 2008 with aggravated burglary and improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation or school in Warren, but a grand jury refused to indict him. A grand jury also didn’t indict him after he was charged with felonious assault in Warren in 2007, just after he turned 18.
Krafcik, meanwhile, was involved in an earlier on-duty shooting in early 1993, when he was 24 and on the job for about a year.
He and Patrolman Joe O’Grady fired on Derek Allen of Warren, killing him, after Allen shot his estranged girlfriend’s 3-week-old son in the head, killing him, and also firing at Krafcik and O’Grady, according to Vindicator files.
Both officers returned to patrol duties about two months after the shooting.