Shooting by police critically injures 1


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The man who police say was wounded early Saturday in an exchange of gunfire with officers is wanted for obstruction of justice and also had a 9 mm pistol with the serial number obliterated.

Chief Robin Lees said Gerald Wainwright, 25, was wounded after he fired several shots about 2:30 a.m. at a pair of officers on West Princeton Avenue after they saw him walking in the roadway wearing a mask and carrying a backpack.

When the officers caught up to the man, he fired three shots at them, reports say. Both officers returned fire, striking Wainwright.

He was in critical condition Saturday night in St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital under 24-hour police guard. Detectives have not been able to speak to him.

Both officers have been placed on administrative leave while detectives and the internal affairs division investigate. Their names will be released at a later date, Lees said.

When officers first encountered Wainwright after spotting him in the roadway, they tried to talk to him. Instead, Wainwright ran away and the officers chased him on foot until Wainwright fired at them on West Princeton near Hudson Avenue.

Lees said both officers returned fire, striking Wainwright.

He said the officers were in a two-man car patrolling their regular beat. Most city police beats are one-officer cars, but if personnel are available, turn commanders are allowed to staff a two-officer car.

The warrant for Wainwright was issued in Cuyahoga County. Details of the warrant could not be found Saturday.

Police said Wainwright has a history of arrests for burglary and robbery in Mahoning County.

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