According to Solon police, Deborah J. Pearl “succumbed to her wounds” at University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center at 8:18 a.m. after her Ford Taurus collided with a Jeep SUV driven by a 29-year-old North Ridgeville man around 7:20 a.m.
“It was at this time that the North Ridgeville man exited his overturned vehicle with a rifle and proceeded to the victim’s vehicle, shooting her just outside of the passenger side of the car,” Solon police said in an Aug. 27 release. “She was transported to the hospital where she succumbed to her wounds.”
Solon police say the suspect, whose identity is not being released pending charges, was arrested near the scene of the accident in possession of a 5.56-millimeter rifle. He remains in Solon jail. The suspect is expected to be formally charged Aug. 29.
According to police, at approximately 7:20 a.m., 911 calls began coming in to the Chagrin Valley Dispatch Center, which handles dispatch for Solon, regarding a traffic crash and gunfire in the area of the intersection of Solon Road and Richmond Road.
“… there’s a man walking around with an AK-47 shooting all over the place,” one 911 caller told a Chagrin Valley dispatcher.
Police say Pearl’s vehicle, traveling northbound on Richmond Road, collided with the SUV driven by the suspect, who was traveling eastbound on Solon Road. Police say the suspect ran a red light at the intersection.
The accident caused the man’s SUV to roll over several times, coming to rest upside down.
The 911 caller says the suspect ultimately laid down on the ground near the scene of the accident, after walking around the area with the rifle.
Pearl was found shot several times near the passenger side door of her vehicle, according to police. Police say they believe the suspect shot Pearl after she had exited her vehicle, which had come to rest upright at the southeast corner of Richmond and Solon roads.
Pearl was immediately taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead at approximately 8:18 a.m.
Solon police say there is no known connection between the suspect and victim, apart from the traffic crash, nor a known motive for the shooting at this time.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification has been called to the scene to assist with processing and will assist in the investigation.
The Solon Police Department Detective Bureau continues to investigating the circumstances around both the shooting and traffic accident.
“Members of the Solon Police Department wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Deborah Pearl,” the Aug. 27 release states. “It is with great sadness that we release this information.”