Chief John Norman of the Girard Police Department in Ohio, sadly reports the death of Officer Justin Leo.
Officer Leo, 31, was shot and killed while he and another officer responded to a domestic violence situation involving firearms. During the crime a male suspect had threatened his girlfriend and her children.
There were records on file of multiple weapons in the residence. Unbeknownst to the officers, the suspect had been drinking during the day and was extremely intoxicated when they arrived.
The suspect was inside the residence when the officers arrived. They engaged him in a short conversation. During the dialogue, it is believed the suspect lured the officers inside the residence. At that point he pulled out a weapon and shot Leo in the chest. The officer was not wearing a bulletproof vest. As a result, he fell to the floor. Consequently, Leo’s partner returned fire killing the suspect.
Leo was immediately removed from the residence and transported to St. Elizabeth’s Youngstown Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
Arron Wayland lives across the street from the home where the shootings took place and witnessed the entire incident, reported WFMJ.
“Out of nowhere, one shot rang out,” said Wayland. “And then immediately, three more shots. ”
Another witness, Judy Worley who lives nearby, said she watched as crews tried to save the police officer.
“They rushed the officer to the hospital in an ambulance,” stated Worley. “They were giving him CPR”.
Gov. John Kasich offered his thoughts and prayers for the Leo family.
Public service has no higher calling than those who put themselves in harm’s way for their fellow citizens. Officer Justin Leo died protecting and serving his community.
We extend our prayers and deep condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. https://t.co/fp9xlTz3qT
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) October 22, 2017
The shooting investigation is being conducted by the Girard Police Department with the assistance of the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
“Justin Leo was a young man I knew most of his life. An absolute gentleman and someone who the city has been proud of since he had been here with us,” said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi. “Our communities, prayers, and thoughts go out to Leo’s family.”
Melfi says he has known Leo since he was in the first grade because Leo went to school with Melfi’s daughter.
Justin Leo served the Girard Police Department for five years. His parents, who are both retired school teachers, survive him.
Officer Justin Leo is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Saturday, October 21, 2017.
(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)
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