Strongsville, OH — A father of three is dead, and his three children are traumatized for life after watching a Strongsville police officer shoot and kill him. Roy Evans Jr. was unarmed when police killed him during a traffic stop as his children, and their mother watched in utter horror. The resultant dashcam video is troubling, to say the least.
During the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 7, a Strongsville police officer attempted to pull over the family’s van for a traffic violation. Evans then made the extremely poor decision of not stopping.
For the next 14 minutes, Evans, with his family in the van, would lead police on a chase until they deployed spike strips to stop the van. The mother of the children and Evans’ girlfriend, Amanda Pauly explained to police that she attempted to get him to stop. She would later tell Fox 8 news that Evans, an ex-convict, said that he didn’t want to go back to jail.
When police finally disabled the vehicle, an officer can be heard demanding Evans show his hands before a gunshot rings out and a dispatcher says, “shots fired.”
The officer approached the van and shot Evans in the chest, Pauley told Fox 8.
A single round penetrated Evans’ chest, and he died in the front seat of the van.
“Please don’t let him die,” Pauly pleads with police as they pull her from the van and put her in handcuffs. Meanwhile, the children sitting in the back of the van are in sheer panic.
One of the small children in the van repeated, “I want my mommy!” after watching his unarmed father be blown away by an officer.
After the shooting, police tore apart the van in an attempt to find something they could use to justify Evans’ death. However, no weapons were recovered.
Now, eleven days after the shooting, police have only released dashcam footage from a cruiser at least four cars behind the other units which more likely than not have a very clear portrayal of what went down. The department has also chosen to keep the officer’s name who fired the shot secret as well.
According to cleveland.com, Jill Del Greco, spokeswoman for the Ohio Attorney General Office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation later said the agency is exploring the possibility that the van itself was used as a weapon. However, given the fact that the vehicle had been disabled with spike strips, the notion of using it as a weapon is unlikely.
Del Greco told cleveland.com that the investigation would examine what provoked the officer to fire his weapon.
This case comes on the heels of officer Derrick Stafford’s trial starting this week for a hauntingly similar stop that was also caught on video. Stafford and another officer, Norris Greenhouse Jr. opened fire on an unarmed father, Christopher Few. However, in that case, the father lived and the 6-year-old boy inside the vehicle, Jeremy Mardis did not.
Police officers fearing for their lives over unarmed people in vehicles is an all too common and tragic reality. Sadly, these children will now all grow up with the memory of their daddy being blown away in front of them by a person, who they are told, ‘protects society.’