A Cleveland man was shot dead by police Wednesday, Oct. 25, after he pointed a gun at officers, and his mother said that she doesn’t blame the officers.
Cyrida Levison said her son, 33-year-old Antonio Levison sold drugs and carried two guns on him every day, WOIO-TV reported. The last time she saw Antonio, she told him that he needed to abandon his self-destructive lifestyle.
This mother knew exactly who was to blame for her son's death.https://t.co/HOVKCu3xrp
— Blue Lives Matter (@bluelivesmtr) October 27, 2017
“I told my son I’m not trying to identify your body. Here it is Wednesday, I’m identifying my son’s body. That’s a message right there,” Levison said.
Police aren’t at fault, she said.
“It’s not their fault. They were doing their job. They had to do what they had to do. My son pulled the gun on them. So that’s what happened. They had to do what they had to do to protect themselves,” she told the Cleveland19 in an interview.
Antonio, she said, erroneously believed that he was “invincible.”
— James Gherardi (@JamesGherardi) October 25, 2017
“But look where you’re at now. You’re not even with me. You’re gone. You’re in a morgue, with a tag on your foot,” she added.
“I didn’t want it to end like this. I wanted to hear my son’s laugh… October 25, 2017, is when my son’s life was taken from him, because he was being real ignorant. And I’m sorry to say that. And I love my son. But there’s nothing I can do. I can’t bring him back,” the mother added.
The shooting took place at East 93rd Street and St. Clair Avenue, and it started with a gunfight, News5 reported. Officer responded to shots fired near the intersection.
When they approached the scene, they saw two men with guns in hand. They ran from the officers, who chased the two. One of the suspects, Antonio, was shot in the incident.
Antonio’s mother has a message to the neighborhood.
“I cannot even describe how I feel, and what I seen last night of my son,” she said after identifying her son’s body.
“Please put these guns down. Take it from a mother that knows… It’s not worth losing your life running from the police, shooting at the police. You’ve got families…My son was a street person. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth your life. Trust me,” Levison said.
“You’re invincible to your friends – whoever carries guns – you’re invincible to your friends. You’re not invincible to the police. Because the police are trained to kill,” she added. “And if you take your gun out, you’re going to get killed. Like my son,” she said.
No officers were injured. They were not identified.
Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson said, “It’s always tragic when we lose someone, it’s always tragic when there’s a shooting, but the big question is retaliation for what happened today, my concerns about continued violence,” News5 reported.
Johnson noted that homicides in the area are up.
“I need more police over here, I need to be able to catch people when they commit crimes so that they’re not repeating their crimes, that’s my immediate need,” he said.
The Cleveland Police Homicide Unit and the Use of Force Investigation Team are investigating. Two handguns were found at the scene, according to News5.