Ohio Police Officer Mortally Wounded by Arson Suspect After Standoff

January 19, 2021 Updated: January 19, 2021

A police officer in Ohio died on Monday after being shot in a standoff with an arson suspect.

Authorities tried negotiating with the suspect, who vandalized a cathedral in Toledo earlier Monday, but failed to reach an agreement, so a SWAT team rushed in.

As they did, the suspect exited the house with two firearms and started shooting.

Officer Brandon Stalker, 24, who was doing perimeter security, was struck once in the head and passed away soon after, Toledo Police Chief George Kral told reporters at a press conference.

Stalker was rushed to Mercy St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to the Officer Down Memorial page, 17 law enforcement officers have died so far this year, including several from COVID-19.

The suspect, 27-year-old Christopher Harris, was shot by police on the scene and died. Multiple officers fired their weapons at Harris; all were placed on administrative leave per collective bargaining agreements.

Kral said Stalker “was an amazing police officer” who leaves behind a fiancée and a young child.

“This is a very dark and horrific day for the city of Toledo,” added Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.

“It did not escape my notice that this terrible event took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a day of reflection and thought, a day where questions of justice are asked and answered. And I might simply say, for those who would react to what happened today with feelings of hatred and a desire to take our community into an even darker place, I might simply say that Dr. King said that no darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”

“So I call on all Toledoans tonight, to say a prayer for their city and to challenge themselves to respond to today’s horrible events with thoughts of love, and light,” he added.

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