Girard officer fatally shot at domestic call
GIRARD — A police officer has been fatally shot while responding to a reported domestic disturbance in the northeastern part of the state.
Authorities say 31-year-old Girard police officer Justin Leo was shot just after 10 p.m. Saturday as he and another officer stood at front door of a home where the suspect opened fire. Leo died during surgery at a Youngstown hospital.
The suspect, who hasn’t been identified, was killed by the second officer.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
Leo was a five-year veteran of the department.
A radio call for an “officer down” included an officer telling a dispatcher there was a man with several firearms who had been drinking all day.
Neighbor Arron Wayland told WYTV-TV that he watched from a kitchen window across the street while the officers spoke with the suspect at the front door for several minutes. He said he heard a gunshot from inside the house and then watched as the other officer fired several rounds into the home. Wayland said he had never met the suspect.
Ohio Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Jill Del Greco, under which the state investigative bureau works, provided a few details when asked a series of questions Sunday. She declined to name the suspect, but said no one else was in the home at the time and that the man used a handgun to kill Leo.
Girard Mayor James Melfi told WFMJ-TV that Leo’s parents were at the hospital when the officer died.
“Justin Leo was a young man I knew most of his life,” Melfi said. “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.”