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Police probe clears officer in shooting of man with cleaver

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia police officer who fatally shot a man who charged at him with a meat cleaver has been cleared in an internal investigation and returned to regular duty, his chief said.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin identified the officer Monday as Patrolman M.E. Stewart, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.

A separate investigation by the West Virginia State Police is continuing, and Martin said he expects the shooting to be presented to a future Wood County grand jury.

Stewart had been called on May 23 to the Oakwood Village apartments, where Rufus James Ramsey III, 34, had forced his way into a neighbor’s apartment and stabbed the 60-year-old woman multiple times, the chief said. The woman then staggered outside and a neighbor with a dog went out to check on her until Ramsey confronted them and sliced the dog’s leash, he said.

Stewart ordered Ramsey to drop the meat cleaver and he did, but then he picked it back up and rushed at the officer, who fired his gun once, the chief said.

“We’ve completed the internal investigation and found no policy errors,” Martin said.