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Published: Friday, 9/28/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Man shot by Toledo police officer was struck once in chest

BLADE STAFF
Darrell James Parnell. Darrell James Parnell.
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An autopsy performed today confirms that the man fatally shot this morning by a Toledo police officer was struck once in the chest.

Lucas County Deputy Coroner Dr. Cynthia Beisser performed the autopsy and said there were no signs of bruising or a struggle on Darrell James Parnell's body.

There was a single barb from a Taser gun stuck to the 19-year-old man's hooded sweatshirt, but Dr. Beisser said it did not appear any of the barbs struck him.

Toledo police were called to the 1300 block of North Michigan Street, in North Toledo, at 2:22 a.m. on a report of a person breaking into a vehicle, police said in a written statement. When police arrived on scene, they confronted the man who reportedly resisted arrest.

Police reported that a foot pursuit began and, when the officer caught up with the man, the man "began to assault the officer."

The officer has not yet been identified by the Toledo Police Department, but reportedly suffered "serious injuries" and then fired his department-issued gun once, striking Parnell in the chest.

The man's body was found lying face down in the back yard of 1319 North Michigan. He was pronounced dead at the scene; the officer was treated and released from a local hospital.

Shantel Weathers, 22, a cousin of Parnell, said the family was notified of the fatal shooting at about 6 a.m. She said that, at this point, the family is waiting on answers to questions, but does not believe the shooting was justifiable.

"He wasn't armed, he had no gun," Ms. Weathers said. "Why not Tase him -- isn't that what they're for so they don't have to kill him?"

Parnell was on electronic monitoring at the time he was shot, according to Lucas County Common Pleas Court records.

In 2011, he pleaded guilty to one count of felonious assault and was sentenced to five years of community control with six months spent at the Community Treatment Facility and then six months of electronic monitoring.

Antoinette Cobble, 33, said the victim's body was found near her back yard and that "there were police everywhere."

She said she didn't hear any commotion today -- no gunfire, not her dog barking -- but was woken by her niece at 3 a.m. who said police were on the side of their home.

Ms. Cobble said she went outside and saw a police officer standing near the side of her house; the officer could only tell Ms. Cobble there was a homicide.

She said she was in such a daze from being awakened that the word 'homicide' didn't register with her until she climbed back into bed.

When she walked out of her house at about 6:15 a.m. to leave for work, police were still on the scene; an officer had to lift up crime scene tape so she could leave, she said. Once at work, her family called and said her children and nieces, all who were at the North Toledo home overnight, were scared to be home alone.

"I came back," she said. "I can't leave my kids like that."

Ms. Cobble said that, although she loves the home she's lived in for 10 years, she's ready to move.

"I don't feel safe. I was scared when they broke into my house in January and now I'm terrified," she said. "That was the last straw for me."



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