Cleveland Airport Shooter Had History of Violence

A man who was shot and killed by a patrolman after authorities said he fired on another officer at an airport had a history of violence and drug abuse, according to his lawyer and court records.

Authorities said the man, identified by the coroner's office as 38-year-old Kenneth Callaway, bit an officer in the neck and grabbed his gun, using it to shoot another officer. The patrolmen were trying to subdue Callaway after he argued with employees at ticket counters Thursday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, city Safety Director Martin Flask said.

A third officer arrived and killed Callaway.

Court and official documents show he also used the last name Calloway. The coroner was trying to determine the correct spelling.

The officer shot in the dispute, Steve Walker, has cracked ribs, a damaged lung and a bullet lodged in his back, but was in stable condition early Friday, according to a nursing supervisor at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Court records show that Callaway has been arrested on a variety of charges since 1990, including aggravated burglary, felonious assault, domestic violence and drug offenses. He was jailed for nine months in 1996 for drug trafficking.

His lawyer described him as paranoid and menacing.

"In 25 years of defending people, Kenneth Callaway was one of the few who scared me," Richard Drucker told The Plain Dealer. "He stalked me. I'm not surprised he shot someone."

Callaway hired Drucker after he was charged with aggravated vehicular assault after losing control of a car last fall. Two passengers were severely injured. Drucker proved that Calloway was not impaired during the crash and the charge was dismissed, which angered Calloway.

"He jumped up and objected," Drucker told the newspaper. "He wanted his day in court."

The shootings followed a disturbance involving Callaway in an airport parking garage Thursday morning, said Flask, the safety director.

Callaway then tried unsuccessfully to buy a ticket at the Delta Air Lines counter. After arguing with a Delta employee, he went to the adjacent United Airlines ticket counter and purchased a ticket to Chicago, then got into the confrontation with the officers, Flask said.

The shooting, shortly after 10 a.m., was in an area before security checkpoints. The airport remained open and no flights were delayed. Airport officials led passengers arriving for flights around the crime scene to ticket counters.

Walker, 52, a Cleveland officer for 18 years, including 10 at the airport, was resting with little pain and talking to his wife on Thursday, said Dr. Charles Yowler, a trauma physician at MetroHealth. He could be released within a week.

The officer who was bitten was treated for his wound, Police Chief Michael McGrath said.


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