Officer killed in Girard

Suspect also dies in return fire on suicide call

GIRARD — A call for a suicidal man Saturday night led to an officer being shot and killed and the man also being killed when a second officer returned fire, according to a city official.

Mayor Jim Melfi said officers responded to 408 Indiana Ave. in the city’s Parkwood area close to its southern border with Youngstown around 10 p.m. He said when officers arrived, everything “seemed calm,” but the man opened fire on the officers, striking one in the chest.

A second officer returned fire and killed the suspect. Melfi was at the hospital late Saturday and said the officer was in surgery and was “critical.” The officer died about a half hour later, Melfi confirmed.

“Worst day of my life,” Melfi said just before 11:45 p.m. from the hospital.

He would not release the officer’s name, saying the chief would have to release that information.

According to police radio traffic, K-9 units were called to the scene after a witness to the shooting fled on foot. That person was described as a white male wearing a checkered shirt and camouflage shorts.

Radio traffic indicated someone was in custody, but it was unclear who or why.

The Girard Police Department would not release any details, saying it was an active and ongoing investigation. However, witnesses on scene said there were officers there from Girard, Vienna, Liberty, Warren, Fowler, Weathersfield and McDonald.

More information is expected to be released today.