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Jayland Walker wounded or grazed 46 times in Akron police shooting: Summit County Medical Examiner

 A mourner holds a photo of Jayland Walker at his viewing and funeral Wednesday at Akron Civic Theatre.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
A mourner holds a photo of Jayland Walker at his viewing and funeral Wednesday at Akron Civic Theatre.

Jayland Walker suffered 46 bullet entrance or graze injuries when Akron police officers fatally shot him last month, Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler said Friday.

Walker died from blood loss from his internal injuries, and a toxicology screening found no drugs or alcohol in his system, Kohler said. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

The medical examiner’s office did not perform gunshot residue testing on Walker because it discontinued the practice in 2016, Kohler said. Such tests can be inconclusive, producing false positives and negatives, she said.

Of the 46 injuries, five entered the back surface of Walker’s body, Kohler said. The rest entered his front or sides, she said.

“I can’t indicate whether or not that was during a time of running away, or if that is just as a body turns, as an individual is being shot, and the rear portion of that individual is then facing the people firing,” Kohler said.

Walker’s injuries included 15 gunshot wounds to his torso, 17 in his pelvis and upper legs, one that fractured his jaw, eight in his arms and right hand and five in his knees, right lower leg and right foot, Kohler said. He suffered injuries to multiple organs, including his heart, lungs, liver, spleen, left kidney and intestines, she said.

Walker’s body was still handcuffed when the medical examiner’s office received it, Kohler said. The office found tourniquets on Walker’s legs and arm, gauze on his abdominal and chest wounds, adhesive seals over two chest wounds and defibrillator pads on his chest, she said.

The office recovered 26 bullets from Walker’s body. Kohler could not say exactly how many bullets hit Walker, as some injuries could have been caused by the same bullet, she said.

Kohler announced the findings from her office’s autopsy of Walker on Friday morning, almost three weeks after eight officers unleashed a hail of gunfire at the 25-year-old Black man as he fled a car after a traffic chase June 27.

Walker was not armed when officers killed him, but police found a gun in his car after the shooting. Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Steve Mylett have not yet released the names of the officers.

Downtown Akron remains under a nighttime curfew imposed by Horrigan in the wake of demonstrations against the killing. Police arrested about 50 people during nighttime protests over the July 4 weekend. Activists in Akron have accused officers of mounting a heavy-handed response to peaceful protests, using tear gas and physical force.

Hundreds attended Walker’s funeral at the Akron Civic Theatre on Wednesday, which Akron City Council declared a “a citywide day of mourning.”

The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the probe of the shooting. The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice are also monitoring the case, President Joe Biden said during a visit to Cleveland last week.

Updated: July 15, 2022 at 10:29 AM EDT
Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.