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Courts and Crime

University of Akron police officer justified in fatal shooting in May
Summit County prosecutor says he had reason to think a BB gun was a handgun

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

The Summit County prosecutor says a University of Akron police officer was justified when he shot 64-year-old James Genda to death two months ago. 

Genda had been driving a car near the university campus on May 16 and was stopped by officer Aaron Burnette for having improper plates. Burnette said Genda pointed a BB gun that looked like a semi-automatic handgun at him and that’s when the officer opened fire.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says she had reviewed the police investigation,  audio and video recordings of the shooting, interviews with witnesses and family members and forensic evidence. A release says she concluded that Burnette “was justified in believing Mr. Genda posed a significant threat.

“I’m sure this has been a very difficult, emotional time for both Officer Burnette and Mr. Genda’s family. My thoughts are with all of them.”


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