Ohio police officer shot, killed during SWAT standoff

Midwest

TOLEDO, Ohio (NewsNation Now) — A 24-year-old Toledo police officer was shot and killed during a SWAT standoff Monday evening.

According to police, the incident occurred in the 2200 block on Fulton Street just before 4 p.m. Officers had barricaded the home of a suspect who was wanted for the arson and vandalism of a cathedral earlier that day.

Officers attempted negotiations with the suspect for several hours but were unsuccessful. The SWAT team then deployed chemical agents into the home in an attempt to lure him out and to encourage a peaceful surrender, police said.

The suspect eventually exited the home, brandished two firearms, and began shooting at officials.

Brandon Stalker, Courtesy: Whitmer High School

Officer Brandon Stalker, 24, was struck in the head and taken to an area hospital, where he later died.

Police said the suspect, 27 year-old Christopher Harris, was shot on scene. Harris was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Stalker has served as a member of the Toledo Police Department since July 2018.

“He was an amazing police officer. He has a fiancé and they have a very young child,” Chief George Kral said during a press conference.

Chief Kral said Stalker was not a member of the SWAT team and was doing perimeter when he was struck, NewsNation affiliate WJW reported.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered that all U.S. and Ohio flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Officer Stalker. Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of his funeral.

“Fran and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker,” DeWine said on Twitter. “He is the second Toledo officer killed in the line of duty in less than a year. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, Chief Kral, and everyone at the Toledo Police Department.”

Toledo police said they will hold another press conference on Wednesday to provide the public with more information.

An investigation into the exchange of gunfire is ongoing.

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