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New London man fatally shot by SWAT member in Lorain Co.

Cary Ashby • Nov 26, 2018 at 5:15 PM

CAMDEN TOWNSHIP — A Lorain County SWAT member fatally shot a New London man Sunday night after authorities said he made movements that were considered a threat to law enforcement.

Daniel Calala, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene.

About 4:10 p.m., the Huron County Sheriff’s Office told Lorain County sheriff’s deputies to be on the lookout for a suspected suicidal man who possibly was driving a bronze vehicle in the area of Ohio 303 and Ohio 511. 

New London Police Chief Mike Marko told the Reflector on Monday that Calala lived in the village for about five years and police hadn’t responded to previous incidents related to his mental health. Originally, the chief said the man called police Sunday about the possible theft of firearms and “when officers went there to investigate, he wasn’t there.”

Marko, who spoke to Calala twice by phone, said the man at one point told police “he wanted to hurt himself” and “he wanted help.” Investigator Lance Capiot also talked to him.

“We wanted to help him,” Marko said. “It did sound like he was impaired.”

On Sunday, the Huron County Sheriff’s Office received information from New London police and dispatchers coordinated with the state Highway Patrol to “ping” Calala’s cell phone to check on his well-being, Lt. Bill Duncan said. 

Police Sgt. Seth Miracle referred further questions to the Lorain Police Department, which is overseeing the investigation of the fatal shooting.

“We can’t speak on their behalf,” he said.

When Lorain County deputies arrived in the area Sunday, they found a vehicle matching the description behind the Camden Township Complex, 50679 Ohio 303. Marko, who was on the phone with Calala when deputies arrived, said he instructed the man to roll down his window, show the officers his hands, answer their questions and be compliant. The call was cut off, but the chief didn’t know if Calala hung up.

Deputies, according to a press release, began talking with Calala, who brandished two firearms — a handgun and long gun — and the officers took cover when he reportedly threatened to shoot them.

The SWAT team, LifeCare Ambulance and the Camden Fire Department then were called to the scene. According to the report, state troopers closed streets in the area and alerted nearby residents and bystanders to find a safe space to hide or leave the area. The roads were reopened about 11:30 p.m.

Calala reportedly refused to put down the guns and surrender as deputies continued to try to talk and negotiate with him, according to the release. At one point he drove westbound on Ohio 303 for about a mile before turning around and driving back toward the deputies who were following him from a distance.

He stopped his vehicle. Deputies again attempted to talk with Calala and he then reportedly made undisclosed movements that were seen as a threat to the deputies, authorities said.

A SWAT member shot the man, who died at the scene.

Sheriff’s detectives, Lorain police officers and the Lorain County coroner were called to the area. 

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