Summit County Medical Examiner: Jayland Walker Died of Blood Loss After 46 Gunshot Wounds

No drugs or alcohol found in Walker's system.

click to enlarge Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler - City of Akron
City of Akron
Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler

Jayland Walker died of blood loss from internal injuries after being struck 46 times by bullets fired by Akron Police officers on the early morning of June 27, according to Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler.

Kohler revealed the results of Walker's autopsy report at a press conference Friday morning, describing in detail the wounds Walker sustained.

Fifteen bullets struck Walker in the torso, causing damage to his heart and other internal organs, Kohler said. Seventeen struck his pelvis and upper legs, damaging the iliac artery, which carries blood to the lower extremities; eight struck his arms and right hand; five struck his knees and lower legs; and one struck his face, fracturing his jaw.

Twenty-six bullets were recovered from Walker's body during the autopsy, and Kohler said that  she could not say definitively how many total bullets struck the 25-year-old as he fled from police in an Akron parking lot. A single bullet might have caused multiple wounds, for example.  (It was previously estimated that Walker had been struck 60 times and that officers fired approximately 90 bullets.) 

Kohler confirmed that the body was handcuffed when her office received it.

Additionally, Kohler said that a toxicology report was negative — meaning that no drugs or alcohol were found in Walker's system — and that a gunshot residue test was not performed. The medical examiner's office in Summit County hasn't performed these tests since 2016, Kohler said, due to the occurrence of false positives and false negatives. 

In a statment, the family's attorneys said: "Today's Summit County Medical Examiner's report on Jayland Walker's death confirms the violent and unnecessary use of force by the Akron Police department on an unarmed young man who, as the family expected, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That Jayland suffered 46 gunshot wounds to his body is horrific. The fact that after being hit nearly four dozen times, officers still handcuffed him while he lay motionless and bleeding on the ground is absolutely inhumane. The family is devastated by the findings of the report and still await a public apology from the police department."

Walker was unarmed when he was gunned down by the Akron officers, but a handgun was recovered in his vehicle. The police shooting, and the vehicle chase on Route 8 that preceded it when Walker fled from a traffic stop, was predicated on the fact that officers heard a gunshot coming from Walker's car and broadcast that shots had been fired.  When officials released bodycam footage of the incident over the July 4th weekend, they also showed video from the Ohio State Highway patrol allegedly showing a "muzzle flare" from Walker's car. 

Whether or not Walker fired his gun at all, and whether he fired it at pursuing officers, will presumably be answered by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is currently handling the investigation.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Steve Mylett have been providing updates to the media on the case and the city's response to demonstrations in daily zoom calls. Akron City Council declared Wednesday a "day of mourning" in Walker's honor, as hundreds gathered at the Akron Civic Theatre for his funeral.

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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