Girard, OH – Girard Police Officer Justin Leo, age 31, was fatally shot late Saturday night.
The incident occurred shortly after 10 PM at a residence located at 408 Indiana Avenue, according to WKBN.
Officer Leo and another officer, whose name was not released, responded to a report of a “domestic-related incident involving a firearm.”
Police radio traffic said that the suspect had several firearms, and had been drinking all day, according to WFMJ.
BCI Special Agent James Ciotti said that the officers got out of their cruisers upon arrival, and approached the front door. The officers then had a brief conversation with the suspect.
At some point, the suspect pulled a gun opened fire on both officers, and Officer Girard was shot in the chest.
The other Girard police officer returned fire and the suspect was fatally shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officer Leo was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital for surgery but died a short time later.
Several agencies responded to assist, including the Liberty Police Department and the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect’s name has not yet been released.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation.
Girard Mayor Jim Melfi said, “This is certainly the saddest day of our city’s history. It’s certainly the saddest day for me personally … Our community’s thoughts and prayers go to officer Leo’s family.”
FOX8 reports that while the officer was initially reported to be wearing his ballistic vest, he actually did not have his vest on at the time he was shot.
He said, “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. Our communities, prayers and thoughts go out to Leo’s family.”
Officer Girard was a five-year veteran of the agency.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Girard Officer Leo, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Justin Leo, your life mattered.