AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — An Austintown woman at the center of a SWAT situation was removed from an apartment complex with a gunshot wound, police confirm.
Austintown’s police chief said Imonie Hackett, 31, was shot by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper during the situation.
Officers went into the Westchester Square apartment complex around 3:50 p.m. Tuesday after a stand-off lasting over 18 hours. A half-hour later, several shots were heard. Hackett was then taken out on a stretcher.
A spokesperson with the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed that there had been an officer-involved shooting, but investigators didn’t release further details.
A law enforcement official said Hackett’s 9-year-old son, who was inside with her during the situation, is OK. The official would not comment on Hackett’s condition.
Hackett is charged with child endangering and inducing panic as a result of the incident. A warrant is issued for her arrest once she is medically released.
It all started Monday night around 10 p.m. when Austintown police went to make a welfare check on a woman living in a ground-floor apartment. When they arrived, police said Hackett was in a hallway with a gun in her hand.
“She backed up into her apartment, the officers backed out. One of the residents told me they heard her, sounded like she was pulling the slide back on a gun,” said Austintown Police Chief Bob Gavalier.
Officers immediately started evacuating those in neighboring apartments. They were pulled through their bottom-floor windows by police.
“That was about 9:30/9:45 [Monday] night and we’ve been out in the parking lot ever since,” said neighbor Ian Shaffer.
Shaffer was one of about 20 residents who had to leave with only what they had on.
“I got no wallet, no phone, no shoes. Just been here hanging out outside all night. Managed to catch a couple hours’ sleep in one of the other tenants’ cars,” Shaffer said.
One woman said her wife was in the hallway when she heard a gun cock. When she turned around, she saw her neighbor standing in her doorway with a gun.
“My wife went to let a friend in, and when she opened the door, she heard a gun cock behind her. So my wife turned around to make sure no one was behind her, and our neighbor had her door wide open and was cocking her gun back,” said neighbor Keidy Loyola.
Neighbors said this is not the first incident with Hackett.
“Apparently last week, she was knocking on everybody’s door upstairs telling them to call the police and waving a gun around. And when the police came, she said they were fake police officers and ran away,” Loyola said.
Other neighbors could do little more than watch and wait.
“I just pray for all of them and I don’t know, it’s just a very sad situation,” said neighbor Tammy Jo Carter.
As long as the standoff lasted, the SWAT team officers were wearing many pounds of heavy gear in the heat and humidity. They had to rotate in and out in shifts. First, the local team arrived, then early Tuesday morning a team with the FBI came in. The locals came back at some point late Tuesday morning. Then late Tuesday afternoon, a team with the Ohio State Highway Patrol moved in and took over.
By Tuesday evening, Ohio’s BCI was on the scene starting its investigation into the officer-involved shooting, the results of which usually take several months to make public.
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As crews were setting up, a neighbor drove into the parking lot, telling officers she’d just received a phone call from Hackett.
“She said to me, ‘The police is out there and I don’t know why.’ I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ She said, ‘I don’t know,'” said neighbor Joan McDavid.
But McDavid says Hackett abruptly hung up without saying anything more.
There was a moment late Tuesday afternoon, just before the SWAT team entered the building, when Hackett did a Facebook Live. Many of the people waiting around watched it. She kept asking over and over, “What’s wrong? What do you know that I don’t know? We’re fine.” She said her son just wanted to go to practice.
Michael Reiner contributed to this report.