Cleveland officer shot and killed by suspect who allegedly shot his grandmother, leaving her brain dead

CLEVELAND, OH -Jamieson Ritter, a 27-year-old Cleveland police officer, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Thursday while he attempted to serve a warrant on the east side for De’Lawnte Hardy, 24, who is now charged with attempted murder. 

According to the Associated Press, Ritter was deployed with a team of approximately 10 officers sent to serve Hardy with a warrant for felonious assault. Police Chief Dorothy Todd told reporters that upon arrival officers reportedly spotted Hardy fleeing on a bicycle.

The officers attempted to stop him when Hardy allegedly opened fire on the officers. It was at this point that Ritter “was shot and killed this morning while serving and protecting our community,” Chief Todd said.
Officers were able to take Hardy into custody and he was brought to an area hospital as a "precautionary measure," though the suspect was uninjured.

Todd told reporters, "The male did exit the house and tried to leave the area on a bicycle. Officers attempted to arrest the male when the male produced a firearm and began firing multiple times. One of our members was struck by one of those bullets. He was transported to the hospital and he did expire at the hospital from his injuries."


"This is a really tough situation," Todd said according to WKYC, "and it's hitting everyone really hard."

As reported by WKYC, a $5 million bond has been set on Hardy for the murder of Officer Ritter. Court documents described the incident stating, "The officers were searching for this defendant because of an incident that occurred in Garfield Heights on Friday, June 29. Allegedly on that day, the defendant stole his grandmother’s gun and shot her in the face. His grandmother is in Metro Hospital. She is on life support. It is alleged that she is brain dead. The officers were looking for him. Five days later, they found him in Cleveland. In an attempt to arrest him, this defendant used deadly force in trying to escape."

The outlet reported that Ritter was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Ohio Army National Guard serving with the 134th Field Artillery Regiment who joined the Cleveland Division of Police in 2020, deployed to Syria in 2022, and returned to service as a police officer in 2023. He was reportedly recognized as Officer of the Month recently.

Chief Todd asked the community to pray for Cleveland law enforcement saying, "Our men and women are out there every day. You see, they don’t always get the recognition that they deserve. There’s always stories out there that are criticizing their work or criticizing our staffing. But they go out there, they work hard, they risk their lives, they risk everything they have to protect the community and they care about the community.

"I hope that this is another time to show our support to our officers. They need it. They deserve it. I think that someone is criticizing of them needs to go away. They need to be recognized for the heroes that they are."

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My deepest condolences to Officer Jamieson Ritter's family and friends. Police Officer Jamieson Ritter, rest in peace. Saddened. This year (2024), the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., has added far too many names to the list of fallen officers on its wall. It is terrible.

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