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Ohio police chief’s brother killed; girlfriend shoots self

February 25, 2015

The brother of Cleveland’s police chief was fatally shot in the city, and the brother’s girlfriend, suspected in his death, later shot herself when troopers stopped her vehicle along a western Pennsylvania highway, authorities said Tuesday.

The girlfriend, Dana Johnson, was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital and was listed in critical condition, a Cleveland police spokesman said. A U.S. marshal initially had said Johnson killed herself.

Johnson, who was alone in the vehicle, held a gun to her head and fired once as troopers approached her on Tuesday morning along state Route 376 in Brighton Township, about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania State Police said.

Johnson, 36, was taken to a nearby hospital and later was transferred to one in Pittsburgh, state police Captain Steve Ignatz said.

A warrant had been issued for Johnson earlier Tuesday after police responding to a report of a shooting found the Cleveland police chief’s brother, William D. Williams, dead at a home on the city’s east side. Johnson is listed in Cuyahoga County records as the owner of the home.

A medical examiner said the cause of Williams’ death was a gunshot wound to the head, with skull and brain injuries.

Cleveland police confirmed Williams, 34, was the brother of Chief Calvin Williams but didn’t immediately release further details about his death. They asked for privacy for Williams’ family and said the case is under investigation by the homicide unit.

Authorities who tracked Johnson suspected she was headed to Maryland, where she has relatives, said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott, of the Cleveland office.

“Calvin Williams was part of our fugitive task force back when he was a sergeant, so as soon as this occurred, we were on it,” Elliott said.

He wouldn’t say what pointed authorities to Johnson as a suspect. Pennsylvania troopers identified her based on an alert that had been issued for the vehicle in connection to the killing.

Update hourly