A newly minted police chief with six children and another on the way was shot and killed at a nursing home in a small Ohio village Friday after responding to a call of a man with a gun, officials said.
Steven Eric DiSario had been serving as chief of the Kirkersville Police Department for only three weeks when he radioed in that he had a suspect in sight near the Pine Kirk Care Center at about 8 a.m., Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp told reporters.
Responding officers found DiSario’s body in the street.
He was only 36 years old, and leaves behind a wife, six children and one more on the way, officials said.
“Very unfortunate tragedy,” Thorp said. “Terrible tragedy for our community.”
Inside the nursing home, two employees were found dead, as well as the suspected gunman, Thorp said.
Sources told 10TV that the shooter turned his gun on himself.
None of the 23 nursing home residents were injured, Thorp said, noting some had barricaded themselves in their rooms during the shooting.
The residents have since been moved to local hospitals.
It was not immediately clear whether the gunman had any connection to the nursing home. The motive for the shooting was also not clear, Thorp said.
The shooting closed down the main street of the small village comprised of only about 500 people, as residents flocked to the Kirkersville Police Station to contribute to a makeshift memorial for DiSario.
Officers lined up to pay their respects for DiSario Friday afternoon, standing at attention and saluting as his body, draped in an American flag, was moved to an area funeral home.
Tributes also poured in online, as officials expressed their condolences for the loss of the young chief.
"Ohio mourns the loss of Kirkersville Chief Eric DiSario, who died in the line of duty. Join me in praying for his family, friends and colleagues, and for the others injured in this tragedy,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in a statement.
The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading an inquiry into what happened.