Police identify officer killed in Girard shooting - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

UPDATE

Police identify officer killed in Girard shooting

Posted: Updated:
Officer Justin Leo Officer Justin Leo
GIRARD, Ohio -

Police have identified the officer killed after a shooting in Girard Saturday night.

Thirty-one-year-old Girard Police Officer Justin Leo died at the hospital after being shot by a suspect in a home at 408 Indiana Avenue.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, allegedly shot Leo after a brief conversation with him.

Officer Leo died from his injuries at the hospital, and the suspect died at the home after being shot by another officer.

Neighbors said they heard the gunshots around 10:15 p.m. Saturday.

Several agencies across Trumbull County responded to the incident, including Liberty police and the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department. 

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation held a press conference early Sunday morning and announced that they are still looking into the circumstances surrounding the shooting. 

Police were called out to the home in reference to a domestic situation involving a firearm, according to BCI officials. 

According to radio traffic, the suspect had several firearms inside and had been drinking all day.

Sources say the suspect also said that he was going to hurt a lot of people.  Mayor James Melfi confirms that Officer Leo was called out for a domestic dispute and that the suspect had allegedly threatened his girlfriend and her children.

They say as officers approached the home, officers had a brief conversation with the male inside.  Police do not believe anyone else was inside the house at the time of the shooting. 

"Initial reports indicate the man pulled a gun and shot a Girard Police Officer. The second officer returned fire and the male inside was hit and pronounced dead at the scene," said BCI Special Agent James Ciotti.

Girard Mayor Jim Melfi was also present at the press conference.

"Justin Leo was a young man I knew most of his life. 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," said Mayor Melfi.

Arron Wayland lives across the street from the home where the shootings took place and witnessed the entire incident.

"Out of nowhere, one shot rang out," said Wayland.  "And then immediately, three more shots. "

Another witness, Judy Worley who lives nearby, said she watched as crews tried to save the police officer. 

"They rushed the officer to the hospital in an ambulance," stated Worley.  "They were giving him CPR". 

Leo was a five-year veteran of the Girard Police Department.

Police say the identity of the suspect is being withheld and will be released by the Trumbull County Coroner's Office. 

Officer Leo is survived by his parents who are both retired school teachers.  He was an only child according to Mayor Melfi who says he has known Leo since he was in the first grade because Leo went to school with Melfi's daughter.

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