Shooting death of New London man remains under investigation

Cary Ashby • Dec 10, 2018 at 11:00 PM

The investigation continues into the Nov. 25 Lorain County incident in which a SWAT member was forced to fatally shoot a New London man.

Daniel Calala, 62, was pronounced dead at the Camden Township scene. Authorities said the SWAT member shot the man when he made undisclosed movements considered to be a threat to law enforcement.

The Lorain Police Department is investigating the shooting on behalf of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

“There is very little information we can release at this time,” police Lt. Ed Super said.

“Sgt. Ernie Sivert has been assigned to conduct that investigation. He’s going to complete the investigation and forward it to the Lorain County grand jury for review.”

About 4:10 p.m. Nov. 25, the Huron County Sheriff’s Office told Lorain County 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. Lt. Bill Duncan has said the local sheriff’s office received information from New London police and dispatchers then coordinated with the state Highway Patrol to “ping” Calala’s cell phone to check on his well-being.

Calala had called police that day about the possible theft of firearms and “when officers went there to investigate, he wasn’t there,” Chief Mike Marko earlier told the Reflector.

Marko, who spoke to Calala twice by phone, said the man at one point said “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.”

When Lorain County deputies arrived in the area, 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 for an undisclosed reason.

Deputies, according to a press release, began talking with Calala, who brandished two firearms — a handgun and long gun — and they 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. 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, authorities said. At one point he drove westbound on Ohio 303 for about a mile before he turned around and drove back toward the deputies who were following him from a distance.

The man 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 officers, authorities said, leading to his death.

Calala lived in New London for about four years.

When asked about the possibility of a self-inflicted gun wound, Super said he doesn’t know where such information would have originated.

“I don’t have any information regarding that. I don’t know that that was something that we even thought was the case,” the lieutenant added.

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