Cleveland police officer killed while serving warrant

A Cleveland police officer killed while serving a warrant on the city’s east side was a New York native and the son of an upstate cop.

Jamieson Ritter was fatally shot outside a home in the Hough neighborhood on Thursday around 1:30 a.m. He was among several officers trying to arrest 24-year-old Delawnte Hardy on a felony assault warrant at the time, Cleveland Police Chief Dorothy Todd told local CBS affiliate WOIO.

As law enforcement approached the residence, Hardy hopped on a bike and then opened fire as he attempted to flee. Todd said Ritter was the only one hit, and he died at a nearby hospital a short time later.

Hardy was arrested on the scene and arraigned Friday on a charge of aggravated murder, News 5 Cleveland reported. He was ordered held on a $5 million bond and is due back in court on July 17.

“Today is a sad day for our city,” Todd said in a statement.

“Ironically, on this day designated for freedom, we are reminded of the evil that tries to impose on our community,” the chief continued. “However, despite our pain and hurt, we take in the immense sacrifice Officer Ritter gave, and we will honor his memory and compassion. We will continue to carry his legacy in our hearts.”

Ritter joined the Cleveland Police Department in 2020, and he served with “distinction and pride” in the years that followed. In May, he was recognized as officer of the month, Public Information Officer Sgt. Wilfredo Diaz told WOIO.

After graduating from Syracuse University in 2019, Ritter served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and served with the 134th Field Artillery Regiment as a member of the Ohio Army National Guard. He was deployed to Syria in 2022 and continued to serve the Cleveland police department upon his return the following year.

Ritter, a native of Webster in upstate New York, was also the son of Jon Ritter, who served as a police officer in the Rochester suburb of Greece. He retired in 2013.

“Greece Police Department, New York is saddened to learn of the death of Officer Jamieson Ritter #1176 of the Cleveland Division of Police (Ohio),” the agency said in a Facebook post.