‘Our hearts are heavy’: Toledo police officer killed in standoff was father to young child, engaged to be married

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WJW) – A young officer was shot and killed Monday in Toledo when a barricaded gunman ran out of a home with guns firing in multiple directions.

Officer Brandon Stalker was shot in the head.

Brandon Stalker, Courtesy: Whitmer High School

The 24-year-old died at the hospital.

“Our hearts are so heavy,” captioned a Facebook post from Officer Stalker’s high school with a photo of Officer Stalker.

Officer Stalker was working the perimeter of the standoff scene to keep residents out of the line of fire.

“The entire Toledo Police family is in shock. Another hero has paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting the residents of Toledo. Our hearts are heavy tonight,” said Toledo Police Chief George Kral.

The standoff started around 4 p.m. when officers from the gang task force spotted a suspect wanted for arson and vandalism and a church earlier in the day, according to a press release.

The suspect, identified as Christopher Harris, 27, ran into his home with a gun, according to police.

SWAT crews and officers surrounded the home for more than two hours before Harris came out and shot Stalker.

Multiple officers shot Harris as he came out of the home firing, police say. The suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The officers are on administrative leave.

Officer Stalker joined the Toledo Police Department in July 2018.

The police chief said Stalker had a young child and was engaged to be married.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered flags at the Ohio Statehouse and public buildings in Lucas County be flown at half-staff until his funeral.

Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Officer Stalker is the 32nd officer killed in the line of duty with the Toledo Police Department.

He was a classmate of Officer Anthony Dia.

26-year-old Dia was shot and killed when responding to a disturbance call in a store parking lot on July 4, 2020.

Toledo police plan to hold a news conference Wednesday.

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