GENEVA, Ohio – A 26-year-old Geneva man was fatally shot Wednesday during a confrontation with an Ashtabula County Sheriff’s deputy.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation said Vincent Palma was unarmed when he was killed outside a house on South Ridge Road near Tuttle Road in Geneva.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Palma died shortly after a deputy shot him.
BCI spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said Friday investigators did not recover any other weapons at the scene.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. The sheriff’s office has not released the deputy’s identity.
Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson said that Palma charged at the deputy, who had gone to the house to investigate a disturbance.
Johnson said the deputy initially used a Taser and a baton in an attempt to subdue Palma, but was unsuccessful.
The deputy then fired several warning shots at the ground as he called for backup. Johnson said the deputy shot Palma before backup arrived.
Palma had been fighting with his half-sister before she called 911. Family members are unsure why Palma came toward the officer.
Some relatives feel he might have been trying to run away, as he’d done during previous run-ins with Florida law enforcement officers.
Meanwhile, Palma’s aunt, Sharon Regal, believes the shooting might have been avoided if multiple deputies were at the scene.
Regal said the deputies could have tackled Palma if he was unarmed and handcuffed him rather than shoot him. She said Palma had a temper that he developed as he grew older.
He struggled after the Dec. 24, 2005 deaths of his brother Salvatore Palma III and half-brother Anthony Michael Palma in a Geneva car crash. Regal said Palma and his father were also in the car.
In Florida, court records show Palma had a series of convictions for offenses such as assault and disorderly conduct. But Regal said he moved to Geneva six months ago for a “fresh start.”
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the Wednesday shooting.