An Ohio police chief was killed weeks after taking while responding to a shooting at a nursing home that left three others dead, police said.
Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said during a press conference Friday morning they believed the gunman was among the deceased discovered inside Pine Kirk Care Cernter in Kirkersville. Two staff members of the facility were also killed in the shooting, but no residents were injured, he said.
Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric Disario, 36, was identified as the officer ambushed while responding to reports of the gunman. When deputies arrived they discovered the father of six in the lying in the street. The family has another child on the way, Thorp said.
Disario had only been chief about three weeks when the deadly shooting occurred.
Thorp said they have not yet identified the suspect nor his motive in the shooting.
Officers arrived at the Kirkersville nursing home around 7:30 a.m. on Friday to investigate calls about an active shooter at the facility, located about 25 miles east of Columbus.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted out condolences for the small Ohio village of just over 500 residents Friday morning and followed it up with an official several hours later.
“Ohio mourns the loss of Kirkersville Chief Eric Disario, who died in the line of duty,” he said. “Join me in praying for his family, friends and collegues, and for the others injured in this tragedy. Blessed are the peacemakers for they be called children of God.”
Officials said Kirkersville Elementary was on lockdown after reports of the shooting and will remain closed. Students already inside were moved to a nearby middle school where they could be picked up by their parents. Senior citizens inside the Pine Kirk Care center shelted in place for about an hour but were eventually relocated to hospitals nearby, WHIO reported. Officers intend interview witnesses who were inside the facility when the shooting occurred.
Thorp indicated the area would be closed off while authorities continued to investigate.