ERIC SANDY / SCENE
Brendan Hester's cousin speaks about the shooting.
Brendan Hester, 23, remains in critical condition in the MetroHealth ICU after being shot twice by an Ashtabula police officer in the early hours of June 2. The particular sequence of events that led to his shooting and the consequences for those involved are less clear.
Police responded to a 9-1-1 call that morning at Hester's Ashtabula home, where he lives with his brother, his brother's girlfriend and their daughter. Someone had broken into the house, and Hester was holding that person at gunpoint. His brother's girlfriend called the police.
Upon arrival, an unidentified officers shot Hester. According to family members, no orders were given to drop the gun. (Ashtabula police originally reported that they ordered Hester to drop his weapon.)
Ashtabula police have not communicated with the Hester family in the ensuing week. “Notably, Ashtabula police have not made any statements to suggest that Brendan posed any threat to them or anyone else at the time he was shot,” said Jacqueline Greene, partner at Friedman & Gilbert, the firm representing the Hester family.
The officer who shot Hester is currently on paid administrative leave.
Hester's cousin, Alex Spangler, spoke with reporters Thursday and relayed the family's thoughts. "Brendan is not a criminal, not did he deserve to be shot," he said. "Brendan is a victim, and his life matters. ... We are devastated, but we are committed to seeing the police department held accountable for their actions. We deserve an apology. We deserve a full and thorough investigation by BCI."
Spangler said Thursday afternoon that Hester's health had taken a sudden turn for the worse, though he did not elaborate.