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Published: Sunday, 11/8/2009

2 officers shoot man near West Toledo bar

Toledo police say Alvin Tate's 9mm semiautomatic handgun had a capacity for 17 rounds. Toledo police say Alvin Tate's 9mm semiautomatic handgun had a capacity for 17 rounds.
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Toledo police are again investigating an outbreak of gunshots involving multiple shooters at a bar, only this time a man was critically injured after being shot by police.

Alvin Tate, 28, of 4423 Cape Lane, Toledo, was shot twice in the torso after he pointed a 9mm semiautomatic handgun at police outside the Big Shots bar, 931 West Central Ave., at

2:10 a.m. yesterday, Chief Mike Navarre said.

Another man, Michael Lawson, was treated at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center with a gunshot wound in the calf believed to have been fired by Tate. Police are not sure why Mr. Lawson, 30, of 2721 Glenwood Ave. was shot, and he is not considered a suspect.

"This was a very chaotic situation with a lot of gunfire go-

ing back and forth. There were a lot of rounds recovered," Mr. Navarre said. He said none of the other gunmen has been identified.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court records show that Tate pleaded no contest in 2007 to felony charges of possession of cocaine and carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to six months in prison.

Chief Navarre said the two officers who fired the shots will be on administrative leave for several days while the incident is reviewed.

"By all accounts, it appears those officers acted in self-defense," he said.

The chief said Tate's condition was "extremely critical."

Chief Navarre said officers were watching the bar from an unmarked car parked in a vacant lot about 100 yards away because of a history of trouble at Big Shots.

They saw Tate emerge from the bar, arguing and beginning to fight with two other people. He was chased and then ran to a car parked on Albion Street where he apparently retrieved a gun and then began firing in the direction of the bar where a crowd had gathered.

Two, and possibly three people, then began firing back.

Police immediately drove up behind Tate's car as he started running into the vacant lot. Officers ordered him with "loud, stern verbal commands" to drop his weapon, but he turned and pointed it in their direction, the chief said.

Two of the officers fired a total of 10 rounds, hitting him twice in the upper torso and once on the wrist.

The officers who fired are Sergeants Daniel Raab and William Shaner, both 37. Officer Kevin Dumas, 37, was in the process of retrieving a weapon but did not fire.

The chief said that Tate's handgun had capacity for 17 rounds but had only two when it was examined, indicating that up to 15 shots may have been fired.

Chief Navarre said the city has tried to block the bar's license renewal by the Ohio Division of Liquor Control without success. He said he probably will attempt again to have City Council petition the liquor commission to deny the bar a renewed license.

"This bar has been a problem bar, one that we've had incidents in the past involving guns and shots being fired," Mr. Navarre said.

He said he didn't know what the three people were arguing about when they left the bar. "There was some type of verbal disagreement that it may have resulted in some pushing and shoving," Chief Navarre said.

Suron Jacobs, 37, owner of the Big Shots building, said he was not outside and didn't see what happened. He said the story he heard was that one person accused another of touching his girlfriend.

He said some customers have shot their guns in the air outside the bar at times and that he has appealed to the police to allow him to hire off-duty officers to guard the establishment, especially at closing time.

"We've never had a shootout," Mr. Jacobs said. If the officers had been working security rather than watching from an unmarked car, he said, the shootout would not have happened.

Chief Navarre said he does not allow officers to work at establishments where the department has had problems or objected to the renewal of the liquor license, calling it a conflict of interest.

The gunfire occurred about one month after a shootout at Route 66 Kitchen on Westwood Avenue in West Toledo in which many shots were fired, but no one was believed injured. Two men have been charged.

Contact Tom Troy at:


or 419-724-6058.

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