STOW — A city police officer is expected to return to active duty after the Summit County Prosecutor's Office cleared him of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of 30-year-old William Porubsky at an Akron homeless shelter last September.

Police Chief Jeff Film said Patrolman Robert Molody, who has been on modified leave at the police station since the shooting, will have to go through a required evaluation before he can return to active duty. Film said this is a requirement of the city's use of force policy, along with approval of the police chief and an evaluation by the department's internal use of force committee, for any officer in such circumstances.

"We anticipate that Officer Molody will be back to full duty in the next few weeks," said Film on Wednesday.

Film declined to comment about the prosecutor's finding because of the sensitivity of the issue.

"This is a tragic situation for all the parties involved," he said.

Calls made to Molody and a representative of the city's police patrol officer's union were not returned before press time. Dan Porubsky, William Porubsky's brother, did not respond with a comment before press time when contacted through Facebook.

The Summit County Prosecutor's Office, which investigated the shooting, said in a press release issued Monday that Molody, a 19-year law enforcement veteran who has been with the Stow Police Department for more than a decade, "did not violate the law in connection with the Sept. 3, 2017 shooting which resulted in the death of 30-year-old William Porubsky."

Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said, “What began as a good deed by Officer Molody escalated into a situation where the officer feared for his life and was forced to take action. Mr. Porubsky attacked Officer Molody, nearly knocking him out. Officer Molody attempted to use non-deadly force, but it did not work. Officer Molody acted within his authority and was legally justified when he shot and killed Mr. Porubsky.”

The prosecutor's office outlined its findings of the events of that night:

At 11 p.m., police responded to a call from a Meadowbrook Boulevard homeowner who said a man had jumped a locked fence and was now banging on the door to his home and acting strange.

Molody encountered Porubsky, who matched the description from the homeowner, and offered to take him to a homeless shelter, the Haven of Rest, in Akron.

During the drive, Porubsky was agitated and made strange statements and at the homeless shelter, he refused several commands by Molody to exit the cruiser and sit on the curb.

Porubsky eventually exited the cruiser, attempted to open the driver’s side door and took swipes at Molody, attempting to knock his Taser out of his hand.

Molody deployed his Taser and hit Porubsky, but it had no effect and Porubsky charged at Molody, knocking the officer to the ground. After a brief struggle, Molody fired two shots. Porubsky was struck in the chest and later died.

During the fight, Molody was almost knocked out by a punch in the face. He suffered cuts to his arm and face.

In its report, the prosecutor's office outlined the evidence it looked at, including investigation reports and scene photos from the Akron Police Department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Summit County Medical Examiner's autopsy report, videos from Akron police cars and Molody's bodycam, medical records for Molody and Porubsky, and numerous other police records, including Molody's firearms training.

The report, which is signed by Walsh, states that, "Based on Officer Molody's statement regarding the events, and the ability to essentially see his perspective by watching the video; coupled with the fact that the officer was in such a vulnerable position (on his back with greatly diminished vision), that he had already been attacked; injured, along with the uncertainty of what Mr. Porubsky was willing, or capable of doing next in light of his already paranoid and irrational behavior; a reasonable officer would have determined that a significant use of force would be necessary to prevent further harm to himself. In view of the circumstances of this case, and the options available to Officer Molody, I cannot say his decision to discharge his firearm was objectively unreasonable."

At a candlelight vigil held for Porubsky in Stow a week after his death, people who knew him spoke lovingly of the person they called "Billy." He was spoken of as someone who had his problems with mental illness and drug addiction, but also someone with a bright smile and a friendly personality.

At that vigil, Dan Porubsky thanked people for coming together after the “horrible situation that we have been put through right now.”

“I was given the grace of being his best friend his entire life,” he said.

Editor’s note: Reporter Diane Smith contributed to this story.

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, jsaunders@recordpub.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.