Middlefield (Ohio) Police say they still don't know why a suspect who ran a stop sign opened fire with an AK-47 at the two officers who pulled him over in March.
Officers found books about militias and terrorism and eight 40-round AK magazines in James Gilkerson's vehicle following the assault on Officers Brandon Savage and Erin Thomas at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.
Police Chief Arnold Stanko released patrol-car video from the incident, which began when the officers made a U-turn to pull over Gilkerson. At the vehicle stop, Officer Thomas exited the cruiser's passenger side. She began walking around the back toward Officer Savage, when Gilkerson exited the vehicle and opened fire.
Gilkerson fired 37 rounds, and the officers answered with 54 rounds. At one point in the gunfight, Gilkerson yelled, "Kill me!" He was fatally shot.
Officer Thomas was hit several times and Officer Savage was wounded by flying windshield glass. Both officers returned fire. Officer Savage returned fire from the driver's seat.
Chief Stanko told reporters that investigators still don't know what caused Gilkerson to ambush the officers. The chief also cleared the officers, saying Gilkerson was "a scumbag and a terrorist," reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In March, Gilkerson's attorney told the Plain Dealer his client "just didn't like authority."