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An Ohio police officer was killed in the line of duty when a standoff with a man wanted for arson and vandalism turned violent.
Officer Brandon Stalker, 24, was fatally shot during a two-hour standoff Monday evening, according to a Toledo Police Department news release. Stalker leaves behind a fiancée and two young children, age 7 years old and age 3 months old, the department wrote on Facebook.
The incident began shortly before 4 p.m. on Monday when officers on the Toledo Police Gang Task Force spotted a suspect wanted in the arson and vandalism of Rosary Cathedral earlier in the day, according to the news release.
When officers attempted to stop the suspect, he produced a handgun and fled into his house. Negotiators were called to the scene, but the suspect did not respond and after more than two hours, the department's SWAT team deployed chemical agents into the house.
Stalker was stationed on the perimeter of the scene to keep residents away when shortly before 6:30 p.m. the suspect emerged from his home with two guns and opened fire.
Stalker was struck by a bullet and transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
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"The entire Toledo Police family is in shock. Another hero has paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting the residents of Toledo. Our hearts are heavy tonight," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral in a statement.
The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Christopher Harris, was shot by Toledo police on the scene and died of his injuries.
The department has opened an investigation into the incident as it has been confirmed that multiple officers fired their weapons at Harris. All officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Stalker had joined the Toledo Police Department in July 2018. A GoFundMe page has been started to help Stalker's fiancée and family.
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