Video of shooting shows Lakemoor cops' struggle with murder suspect last July
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Video released by authorities Monday night show the moments when a Lakemoor police officer struggled with an armed Pennsylvania murder suspect she had found sleeping in an SUV in the darkness of a remote driveway July 26, 2018, and a fellow officer shot the man to death.
Both dashcam and body camera video released by the Lake County state's attorney's office show the first officer, Briana Tedesco, screaming as the suspect, who was in the driver's seat of a vehicle parked in a driveway about 5 a.m. on the west side of Four Seasons Road, pulls a gun on her after she was talking to him to retrieve documents to confirm his identity.
Tedesco had told the suspect, "I just have to make sure you don't have any warrants or anything, which I'm sure you don't."
The suspect had identified himself as James Dunkin, but he was really Kenneth Martell, wanted for the robbery and murder of an 88-year-old man in Pennsylvania. After she radioed in his information, Tedesco informs the suspect there was no driver's license on record with the name James Dunkin. Then he produced a gun.
For about 20 seconds Tedesco and the suspect struggle over his gun and a second gun he attempted to pull, and the officer can be heard screaming "No! No!" and "Please don't shoot me!" Then a second officer, Anthony Loiacono, runs to the scene and fires one shot at the suspect, ending the struggle.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said in December Tedesco and Loiacono "were masterful and indicative of two people acting in self-defense." He said the officers were "within feet of a man armed with two handguns" and that "only one option remained for the officers: To defend themselves."
Martell, 36, was wanted in Pennsylvania for robbing and killing 88-year-old Theodore Garver when Tedesco spotted Martell's black SUV backed in and parked on the gravel driveway, Nerheim reported. Martell had been "napping" in a reclined position.
When Martell gave a piece of paper to Tedesco after she asked for identification, "Mr. Martell reached out the window and pointed a handgun directly at Officer Tedesco," Nerheim's report said. "Officer Tedesco believed that Martell pulled the trigger of the gun. It did not fire."
Nerheim said Tedesco had tried to radio for help but Martell grabbed her hand to block the call.
Tedesco was able to pull away just as Loiacono fired a single round that hit Martell and knocked him back into the seat, Nerheim's report said.
Loiacono unlocked the car, opened the door and found two handguns. Dispatchers were notified of the officer-involved shooting, and an ambulance was requested, the report said.
Martell died from the gunshot wound to his face.
During the investigation, officers uncovered a large number of weapons, including rifles, shotguns, crossbows and ammunition near the shooting scene, according to the report. Accompanying the weapons were court documents in the name of Kenneth Martell.
Police also found stolen property and identification of Garver, whose body was recovered in a Beaver Township pond three days before the Lakemoor shooting.