Steven Eric Disario, 36, was killed as he responded to a shooting in Kirkersville, Ohio, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said on Friday. The suspect was also found dead. Officials said during a news conference the officer had been police chief for three weeks.
Multiple people were hospitalized after a shooting was reported Friday morning near an OH nursing facility.
Mr Thorp said Mr Disario was a father of six children with a seventh child on the way. The sheriff says the hostages escaped when a shot was sacked at the chief.
The gunman was in a wooded area behind the nursing home when he encountered two passers-by, whom he temporarily took hostage.
A crisis team is in place to help the responding officers and deputies, including those that pulled the police chief to safety. People shouted that they needed police, the witness said. "I'm just sad to hear so many innocent people died", she said.
"We don't have this stuff go on around here", said Ron Rogers, 67, a local shopkeeper.
The names of the gunman and the slain nursing home employees weren't immediately released.More news: No Time for Friction With South Korea
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The village of about 500 residents is roughly 25 miles (39 kilometers) east of Columbus.
Pine Kirk Care Center is a 24-bed facility in a converted residence, the Dispatch reports. They were removed so the scene could be processed, he said.
Debbie Messer, who lives on E. Main Street, said she heard at least one gunshot.
"They cater to the forgotten members of society - folks that have, in addition to physical health care needs, behavioral health issues", VanRunkle said.
Gov. John Kasich called on government buildings to fly their flags at half-mast in honor of the victims. Law enforcement officials have not confirmed the officer's death, according to the Advocate.
"Join me in praying for his family, friends and colleagues, and for the others injured in this tragedy", the Republican governor said.