Forensic pathologist: Jayland Walker was shot dozens of times

AKRON, Ohio (AP) – Jayland Walker, the 25-year-old black man who died last month at the hands of police in Akron, Ohio, was shot dozens of times, with 26 bullets found from his body, according to a preliminary autopsy report released Friday.

Dr. Lisa Kohler, the Summit County medical examiner, said it was impossible for her office to say which bullet killed Walker or the number of shots fired.

Walker “had several very devastating injuries that would cause death,” including injuries to his heart, lungs and arteries, Kohler said. She counted 41 entrance wounds and five wounds from bullets hitting Walker.

Preliminary results released earlier indicated that Walker’s body had more than 60 wounds. Greta Johnson, communications director for Summit County, said Friday that it was “very possible” that a bullet could cause several different entry wounds.

Walker had five wounds in his back, but it is impossible to say if they came when he ran away or turned around while he was shot, Kohler said.

The medical examiner gave a summary of the report on Walker’s death at a press conference. The report was completed Thursday.

The persecution on June 27 began when officers tried to pull him in front of equipment breaches. Authorities say Walker fired a shot from his car 40 seconds inside the chase.

Kohler said no illegal drugs or alcohol were detected in Walker.

The forensic doctor’s results confirm that Walker, unarmed and without drugs or alcohol in his system, “came to a brutal, meaningless death,” said Ken Abbarno, a lawyer representing Walker’s family.

Walker was remembered at his funeral Wednesday as a shy, kind, thoughtful man with a quiet sense of humor. Another lawyer for his family said earlier that Walker had mourned the recent death of his fiancée, but that his family had no signs of concern beyond that.

A message to get comments on the autopsy results was sent Friday to a police spokesman.

The update comes a day after the NAACP made a direct prayer to Attorney General Merrick Garland for the Department of Justice opening a federal civil rights inquiry into the fatal shooting.

Police said Walker fled an attempted traffic stop for minor equipment violations and fired a shot from his car during the car chase, but he was not armed when officers shot him.

Police body camera footage shows Walker wearing a ski mask, jumping out the front door of his still-moving car and then running into a parking lot where police opened fire. These blurred footage does not clearly show what authorities say was a threatening gesture made by Walker before he was shot.

An unloaded gun, an ammunition clip and what appeared to be a wedding band were found in the driver’s seat in front of Walker’s car, authorities said.

The officers involved are on paid leave while the state investigates the shooting. Seven of these officers are white and one is black. None of them have documented discipline, documented complaints or fatal shootings, according to the police department.

The local police association has said officers believed there was an immediate threat of serious injury and that it believes their actions and the number of shots will be found justified in accordance with their training and protocols.

Police in nearby New Franklin Township had tried to stop and then chased a car that matched Walkers for the same minor equipment violations less than 24 hours before the Akron chase. A supervisor who interrupted the pursuit as the car crossed the city border into Akron.


Associated Press writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins of Columbus contributed to this report.

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