A sheriff’s deputy and a suspect were shot to death New Year’s Day at a campground near Enon, Ohio, authorities said.
The victim was identified as Deputy Suzanne Hopper.
Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly told the New Carlisle News the deputy had taken out a camera to photograph a footprint while investigating a report of a window being shot out of a trailer at Enon Beach about 11:30 a.m. when someone opened the door of a nearby trailer and fatally shot her with a shotgun, United Press International reported
A second law enforcement officer, German Township police officer Jeremy Blum, was wounded in the shoulder during an ensuing exchange of gunfire with the gunman.
The suspect was found in the trailer about 3 p.m., presumably shot by authorities, the newspaper said
Kelly said Blum, who was wearing a protective vest, suffered “some internal injuries.”
“I’m told he should be OK,” Kelly said.
The Columbus Dispatch reported the sheriff said he was still trying to reach the slain deputy’s parents.
“This is the worst day of my 24 years as the sheriff of Clark County,” Kelly said.
The sheriff said “many, many, many shots” were fired during the incident at the campground, which has both seasonal and year-round residents.
One witness, John Burkhardt, 46, of Beavercreek, who was visiting a friend, said he sought cover behind a picnic table.
“They must have shot the place a hundred times,” he said. “It sounded like World War II.”
In a Sunday news conference, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly broke down while explaining how Deputy Hopper was killed, WDTN-TV, Dayton, reported.
“She only had the time to call out for her seargent,” he said.
Hopper and her seargent responded to a shots fired call at the Enon Beach RV Park at 11:25 a.m. on Saturday morning.
“When they got there, they had no idea where the shot came from and did not think the suspect was still there,” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, 57-year-old Michael Ferryman ambuhsed Hopper.
“She was starting her investigation and a door opened and a fatal shot was fired,” Kelly said.
When more law enforcement arrived, more shots were fired.
“We exchanged fire and Germantownship Patrolman Jeremy Blum was shot,” Kelly said.
Kelly told 2 News Blum suffered a collapsed lung.
“He’s at Miami Valley Hospital, and in good spirits,” Kelly said.
During the standoff Ferryman was killed, but Kelly would not say if Ferryman killed himself or if he was killed by sheriff’s deputies.
“We may never know why this whole happened,” Kelly said.
Eight sheriff’s deputies have been put on administrative leave pending an investigation.
WHIZ-TV, Zanesville, Ohio, reported today that nine years ago Ferryman was sharing a camper with his girlfriend, Maria Hosinger, near Malta in the AEP recreation campgrounds when he became upset with other campers who had taken firewood from a community pile.
Morgan County deputies were called to the area about shots being fired at other campers. It took 26 hours of negotiations before Ferryman and his girlfriend surrendered the next day. They were charged with felonious assault with a gun specification. He was committed to Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare in Columbus and was later found not guilty by reason of insanity.