Cuyahoga County corrections officer killed in suspected murder-suicide

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – A woman killed in a suspected murder-suicide in Cleveland has been identified as Cuyahoga County Corrections Officer Valerie Gudger.

Valerie Gudger, Courtesy: Cuyahoga County

Officers with the Cleveland Division of Police responded to E. 124th St. and Brackland Ave. around 2:30 p.m. Thursday and found a woman, later identified as Gudger, with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist police in a SWAT standoff with the suspect at 686 Gray Ave.

Law enforcement reports an armed male was locked inside the residence.

SWAT entered the residence around 10:30 p.m. and found the man dead with a suspected gunshot wound to the head.  

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Christopher Viland says it was not long after deputies arrived on the scene that they learned the female victim was one of their colleagues.

They say Gudger had served with the department since 2017.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to the friends and family of C.O. Gudger. This is a tragedy that shouldn’t be suffered by any family. The loss of a second corrections officer to violent crime in the past several months will be difficult for all, including the many co-workers and friends who provide such admirable service to the citizens of this county every day,” Sheriff Viland said in a press release.

Viland says grief counseling services are immediately available for all jail employees.

The department suffered the loss of Deputy Timothy Cruz, 27, in March of 2021.

He was shot and killed while working as a bouncer at a Parma sports bar.

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