BARBERTON, Ohio - Police said a former employee of a Barberton Walgreens shot himself inside the store on Thursday night after threatening his manager and former co-workers.
Barberton police responded to the Walgreens at 900 Wooster Rd. North just before 7 p.m. Thursday night for multiple 911 calls stating that a man was in the store with a gun. The store has since re-opened for business.
Barberton police said that Jace Cleveland, 28, of Barberton was a former employee of the Walgreens. Police said Cleveland returned to his former place of employment and threatened his former co-workers and numerous customers who were in the store at the time.
NewsChannel5 obtained copies of the 911 calls, which you can hear below:
( If using a mobile device, you can click here to listen: http://bit.ly/fGHyAG ).
When officers arrived on scene, they encountered Cleveland as he attempted to leave the store with the handgun. Officers said that as they began to approach Cleveland, he ran into the back of the store, then shot and killed himself.
Cleveland's mother, Janice Haught, contacted Barberton police about an hour before the shooting to report her son was acting unusual. Haught feared her son could be suicidal. While police were looking for Cleveland, 911 calls starting pouring in, reporting a man with a gun inside Walgreens.
Police Chief Vince Morber said there were about 20 employees and customers inside the store. Once the customers saw that the man had a gun, they began to duck and dart in all directions. "If he wanted to start shooting, it could have been very, very bad," Morber said.
Police said no customers or employees were injured. Representatives from Victims Assistance Advocates assisted the Barberton Police Department on the scene in the aftermath of the shooting.
The incident is under investigation by the Summit County Coroner and the Barberton Police Department.
In a statement from Walgreens, the company said it's offering counseling to its employees.