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Old 04-08-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
catlover79
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Icon15 Police shoot man brandishing meat cleaver in Bedford, OH Sikh temple

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010..._meat_cle.html

By Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer
April 08, 2010, 7:48AM

BEDFORD, Ohio -- Bedford police shot and killed a man brandishing a meat cleaver at a Sikh temple on Tarbell Avenue early this morning.

Bedford Police Chief Gregory Duber identified the suspect as Ravinder Nijjar, 41, of Bedford.

Duber said the officer told cleaver-wielding Nijjar to stop two times before shooting him inside the Guru Gobind Singh Gurudwara of Greater Cleveland temple. Duber said Nijjar was only 11 feet away when the officer shot him.

Police said the incident started around 4:30 a.m. when two members of the temple stopped a police cruiser and said there was a man with a knife inside the temple. The men said there were two other members also inside.

"Two police officers entered the temple, with the two members," Duber said. "One officer went up a flight of stairs and the other officer went down. The officer who went downstairs into a hallway when Nijjar came down another flight of stairs toward him with the cleaver.

"The officer said 'drop the knife' twice, but the man continued walking toward him," Duber continued. "The officer shot him."

Nijjar was pronounced dead at 5:10 a.m. at the Bedford Medical Center.

Duber said police are trying to determine what happened and why Nijjar went to the temple.

"We learned that the four people actually live there, but we also learned that there are some very early morning services," Duber said. "Nijjar is not a practicing member of the temple, though he sometimes attends."

Duber said police are still gathering information on the early morning shooting.

"I'm not sure why he went there and what was going on," he said. "He just showed up with a knife. We'll talk to the other members and his family and try to figure it out."

Duber said the department would investigate the shooting by the police officer and then turn over the information to the city's law director, who will decide if the case should be turned over to a grand jury.

Duber said police arrested Nijjar in 2008 for being drunk and disorderly.

"He was on the street yelling at passing cars," he said. "We brought him back to the station, he didn't speak much English. We brought in a local businessman who helped us translate."

Nijjar was taken to the Marymount Mental Health Center for treatment.

Duber said Nijjar did not show up at his hearing on the disorderly conduct charge and was arrested by police on a warrant at his apartment, where he lived with his mother, later that same year. Police responded to the apartment complex for a disturbance and took Nijjar into custody after determining there was a warrant out for his arrest.

According to the temple's Web site, it is the largest in the area.

"(It) has been in the news since 2004 when a Gurudwara Reform Campaign was launched to reform the administration and revive Sikhism in USA," according to a statement on the site. "It has more than 400 members, and many members now wear turbans! A small group of deviant followers is bent on destroying Sikhism and has engaged in a long protracted court case. However, Sikhism has triumphed and will continue to triumph!"
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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Not much you can do to analyze a story like this except shake your head and wonder what the heck was going on in the guy's mind.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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Oh No

My dad grew up in the town next to Bedford, and my great-aunt lived there for many years. She passed away at the Bedford Medical Center, which is where this guy died after being shot. You're right - it's a sad, sad story.

By the way, the report on the local news said that the policeman who shot the suspect is on paid administrative leave. But he did what he had to do - the dispatcher call was released and he yelled at the suspect to drop the knife twice. But the guy kept coming at him despite the warnings, and the cop did what he had to do.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:47 PM   #4
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This seems like it may have been suicide by cop. I hope not but it sounds like it could have been.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvo301
This seems like it may have been suicide by cop. I hope not but it sounds like it could have been.
I wouldn't doubt it.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:32 PM   #6
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This was sad and tragic, but the officer did what he had to do in my
opinion. I just hope that rioting does not start in Cleveland's Sikh
community like it did in the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati
in April 2001 after the fatal shooting of Timothy Thomas by Officer
Stephen Roach. I also hate when officers are investigated for doing
what they have to do, even though such investigations are necessary.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #7
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^ Gosh, I remember when all that happened in Cincy. They had a curfew and everything for a few days. Scary stuff.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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It seems like there is more to this than what was in that article.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMac
It seems like there is more to this than what was in that article.
Are you saying that maybe the shooting was unjustified?
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