Loading…
Friday, August 01, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Thursday, 7/24/2008

Police kill Toledoan wielding 2 handguns

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Gail Cole followed closely behind her husband yesterday as he walked along North Detroit Avenue, explaining to a 911 operator that he had a gun and threatened to harm her and himself, police said.

Shortly after she made that call, Toledo police officers approached Allen Cole, 40, of 6255 Telegraph Rd. about 1:10 p.m. near North Detroit and East Crawford Avenue.

A sergeant and two officers tried for more than five minutes to get Mr. Cole to put down his gun. At one point, he pointed the weapon toward his chest.

Across the street, his wife begged him to listen to the officers, said Louie Perry, who witnessed the incident.

"She was screaming, 'Lay down, listen to the cops. Think about your kids,'•" Mr. Perry, 29, said.

Mr. Cole pulled a second gun from his waistband, pointed it toward the officers, and was shot at least once by police.

Mr. Cole did not fire either of his guns. He was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Cole
<br>
<img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> <b><font color=red>VIEW</b></font color=red>: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO51248724.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Recent Toledo Police shootings</b></a> 
Cole <br> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> <b><font color=red>VIEW</b></font color=red>: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO51248724.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Recent Toledo Police shootings</b></a>
Enlarge

Just before the shooting, Mr. Cole argued with his wife at a relative's house near where the shooting occurred, police said.

Deputy Chief Don Kenney said nine shell casings and Mr. Cole's two guns were recovered at the scene.

Sgt. Keith Miller and Officers Susan Surgo and Edward Gust, who fired the shots, have been placed temporarily on administrative leave.

The shooting will be reviewed by the department's firearms review board, a standard procedure when an officer fires his or her service weapon.

Chief Mike Navarre said last night he didn't know which officer fired the fatal shot.

The incident was recorded on a police vehicle dashboard video camera, but the chief declined to release the videotape, citing the ongoing internal investigation.

He said the video shows Mr. Cole had one gun in his right hand and was gesturing with his left hand. Mr. Cole then took a second gun from his waistband and raised both weapons - identified as a revolver and a semiautomatic gun.

"The officers fired immediately when that second gun came out," Chief Navarre said.

He said information about the incident provided to police by witnesses and officers is supported by the video.

Chief Navarre said although it appeared to be a case of a person committing suicide by provoking police, it was "too soon to draw that conclusion."

Jamel Jomaa, left, and Louie Perry, who witnessed the shooting incident, said police repeatedly told the gunman to yield.
Jamel Jomaa, left, and Louie Perry, who witnessed the shooting incident, said police repeatedly told the gunman to yield.
Enlarge

During an afternoon news conference with several of his top commanders, the chief said a preliminary investigation revealed the shooting was justified and the officers fired in self-defense.

Mr. Perry and Jamel Jomaa, 18, who work at a nearby auto salvage yard, watched from several hundred yards away as officers repeatedly ordered Mr. Cole to put down his gun.

"They told him a million times to lay down," Mr. Perry said.

Paula Hoard, 41, was on the porch of her home on Crawford when she heard gunshots. Curious, she looked down the street and saw a man fall to the ground.

In March, Mr. Cole was charged by Toledo police with criminal trespassing after he walked into Grogan's Towne Chrysler in the 6100 block of Telegraph with a gun.

Although Mr. Cole had a concealed-carry permit, the gun was on his hip and visible to people. Car dealership employees called police because Mr. Cole refused to leave, Chief Navarre said.

Mr. Cole was convicted in June, given a suspended 30-day jail sentence, and placed on probation for one year, Toledo Municipal Court records show.

Autopsy results for Mr. Cole, 40, reveal he was shot six times by Toledo police officers after he was confronted by them near the corner of North Detroit and East Crawford avenues.

Mr. Cole was struck in the chest, abdomen, left arm, hand, and leg. The fatal wounds were those to his torso, according to Dr. James Patrick, Lucas County coroner.

Adam Pullen, 18, who was at Mr. Cole's house last night, said Mr. Cole, who was his uncle, has a son that is his age and a 16-year-old daughter. He said Mrs. Cole and her children were at a funeral home last night making arrangements.

The officers involved in the shooting are department veterans. Sergeant Miller, 50, was appointed in 1982 and works in field operations.

He and Officer Bruce Helppie, who also was on the scene yesterday, were hurt seriously almost 25 years ago when they responded to a domestic dispute in the 700 block of Ewing Street in March, 1984.

Sergeant Miller, who at the time had been with the department for two years, was shot three times in the neck and chest. Officer Helppie was wounded in the head, left arm, and left leg.

Appointed in 1997, Officer Surgo, 37, works in the community services bureau. Officer Gust, 54, was appointed in 1977 and works in the traffic section.

Contact Laren Weber at:

lweber@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.