Police looking for suspect after off-duty officer shot at in Howland

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The off-duty officer stopped to check out a disabled vehicle and was shot at, police said

HOWLAND TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – A Warren police officer was shot at in Howland Township and taken to the hospital. Police said they are looking for a suspect.

Howland Township Police Chief Nick Roberts said the officer was not injured, but the officer was involved in an exchange of gunfire with an unknown man.

The shooter was described as a black man in his mid-30s who is about 6 feet tall with a slim build.

He was wearing a dark-colored hoodie with athletic shoes and spoke with a higher-pitched voice.

Roberts also said he is armed with a silver revolver.

The vehicle involved is a full-sized, black SUV, possibly an early 2000s model, that may have bullet holes in it. Police said it took off after the shooting, which happened around 5:30 p.m. in the area of Pine Avenue, just north of Deforest Road. Warren police had the area blocked off Monday night.

The shooter was last seen going southbound on Pine Avenue in Howland Township.

Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel said an off-duty officer was on his way home from work and stopped because he came across a disabled vehicle.

When he got out of his car, shots were fired.

As the news broke, conflicting information from multiple sources made it difficult to figure out exactly what happened.

Tuesday, Roberts said the officer wasn’t hit by any bullets.

“When I initially came out, it was reported that he was shot two times, but he was wearing his bulletproof vest and they did not penetrate. But the story has changed. He did not have his vest on. Like I said, he was off duty, returning home from work and he was not hit by any rounds.”

The officer was taken to the hospital but has since been released.

As of about 10 p.m., there was a heavy police presence at Mauro Circle Apartments in Niles.

Roberts said a Niles officer tried to pull over a vehicle that looked like the one involved in the shooting, but the driver wouldn’t stop. Investigators are not sure if it’s related to the shooting but they are interviewing witnesses and some people who were inside the SUV.

No one has been arrested at this point.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is on the scene, along with several local police departments and the sheriff’s office.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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