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Jayland Walker was shot 46 times by Ohio police, medical examiner says

The 25-year-old Black motorist was killed June 27 in a barrage of bullets fired by Akron police after officers attempted to pull him over on an unspecified traffic violation.

Jayland Walker, the Black motorist killed by Ohio police last month, suffered 46 gunshot wounds in the hail of officer gunfire, the medical examiner’s office revealed Friday. 

The 46 shots were from entrance and graze wounds, Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler said at a news conference announcing a summary of the autopsy findings.

Walker, 25, died of blood loss from internal injuries and the cause was gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a homicide, Kohler said. 

She broke down where he was hit: 15 gunshot wounds to his torso, 17 gunshots to his pelvis and upper legs, one bullet to his face, eight to his arms and right hand, and five to his knees, lower right leg and right foot.

“There are 46 entrance wounds. There are 15 exit wounds, and five of the wounds that would be in with the entrances are graze wounds,” Kohler said. 

Five wounds entered on the back of Walker's body, but it couldn’t be determined if that was when he was running from officers or simply moving his body, she added.

Walker tested negative for drugs and alcohol, according to the toxicology screening, Kohler said.

Image: Jayland Walker
Cortez Beasley holds a photo of Jayland Walker as protesters occupy the intersection of Exchange Street and Broadway on July 3 in Akron, Ohio. Phil Masturzo / USA Today Network

She said he suffered "devastating injuries," and the medical examiner's office cannot determine if one specific bullet killed him.

“He’s got an injury to his heart; he has injury to both lungs, which also bleed extensively; and he has an injury to the right iliac artery, so we’ve got multiple locations that are going to bleed significantly and would contribute to his death,” Kohler said.

The results were discussed with Walker’s relatives, who gathered just days ago for his funeral. Representatives of the family reviewed the report, according to Kohler.

The Walker family’s legal team called the report results “horrific” and condemned police actions as a display of “violent and unnecessary use of force.”

“The fact that after being hit nearly four dozen times, officers still handcuffed him while he lay motionless and bleeding on the ground is absolutely inhumane,” the DiCello Levitt Gutzler law firm said in a statement released after the news conference.

“The family is devastated by the findings of the report and still await a public apology from the police department.”

Walker was killed June 27 after an attempted traffic stop in Akron. 

Police officers tried to pull him over on an unspecified traffic violation, and a car chase ensued. During that pursuit, they “reported a firearm being discharged from the suspect vehicle,” the Akron Police Department said.

When Walker jumped out of his moving car, officers pursued him on foot and eventually opened fire.

Harrowing video footage released by the police department shows the moment officers unleash a barrage of bullets toward Walker. 

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A mourner leaves the funeral of Jayland Walker on Wednesday in Akron, Ohio.Phil Masturzo / USA Today Network

He was pronounced dead on the scene, and no gun was found on Walker’s body. A gun was found in Walker’s car, police said.

Eight officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave. The Ohio attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the probe of police use of force.

The NAACP on Thursday pleaded with Attorney General Merrick Garland to open a federal civil rights investigation into Walker's death, saying he was “executed by Akron, Ohio, police officers for a traffic violation.”

“We are urging you and your Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Jayland Walker, and — if what we all saw with our own eyes is true — federally charge the officers responsible for his gruesome assassination,” Derrick Johnson, the NAACP president, wrote in a letter to Garland.

Akron police said Walker’s actions “caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” which prompted them to discharge their firearms.

The Akron chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police previously said it believes investigators will find that the officers’ actions and the number of shots were justified. NBC News is reaching out to representatives for the organization for comment on Friday's findings.