CHARDON, Ohio — A Chardon police officer shot and killed a knife-wielding man in a confrontation early Thursday after a domestic-violence call.
Ryan Sever, 28, died on the sidewalk a few steps from where North Street crosses Allynd Boulevard. The shooting took place just before 4 a.m. --roughly 40 minutes after Victoria Sever dialed 9-1-1 to report her son beating his girlfriend in the family's Chardon Avenue home, according to Police Chief Tim McKenna.
Sever left the house as his mother spoke with a police dispatcher, who advised her to lock the door. Sever's girlfriend can be heard crying in the background in a recording of the call. Victoria Sever said the problems started after her son began drinking earlier in the evening.
Two officers -- who had been told by the dispatcher that Sever had a knife earlier but was no longer armed -- searched for him. He was found walking on North Street around the corner from his home, McKenna said. Sever appeared "highly agitated" when approached and did not respond to commands from the officers.
Sever then pulled out a knife and "engaged" an officer, who fired in response, McKenna said. Sever was declared dead at the scene minutes later.
The chief did not elaborate on the encounter.
The officer -- whose name was not released -- was described by McKenna as a veteran with more than 20 years of service. He has been placed on paid leave, which is normal procedure for an officer involved in a shooting. The state's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is reviewing the case, the chief said.
An arrest warrant for Sever was issued March 13 for a probation violation stemming from a domestic violence conviction, according to online records from Painesville Municipal Court. A review of court records shows a variety of charges filed against Sever over the years, with most involving alcohol and aggression.
Nobody answered the door at Sever's home Thursday. A relative reached by phone declined to comment.
Investigators closed North Street from Chardon Square to Fifth Avenue until after 8 a.m. Many high school and middle school students arriving for classes passed the flashing lights of police and Geauga Sheriff's Office cars in the road. News helicopters hovered overhead.
For many in the usually quiet town, the scene triggered flashbacks to last month's shooting at the high school that left three students dead and two wounded.
"It absolutely brought back memories of the 27th," said Ellen Ondrey, a spokeswoman for Chardon schools. "People were on edge."