ENON, Ohio – A sheriff’s deputy investigating a report of gunfire at a trailer park was shot dead Saturday, and the shooting suspect was killed after a gunbattle with police, authorities said. A police officer was wounded.
Deputy Suzanne Hopper, who was married last year and had two children, was shot as she tried to photograph a footprint in the Enon Beach mobile-home park, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said.
“Our deputy never had the opportunity to return fire or take cover,” he said at a press conference.
Police officers were trying to retrieve Hopper’s body when the shooting suspect fired on them from inside a trailer, and a German Township officer was wounded in a large exchange of gunfire, Kelly said. There were “many, many, many” shots fired by the suspect and police, he said.
The wounded officer, Jeremy Blum, was hospitalized in fair condition, a hospital supervisor said.
Enon Beach resident Angelina Inman said she looked out of her trailer at the park, which sits near a highway about 50 miles west of Columbus, to see the deputy lying on the ground. She watched as another officer tried to reach her body.
“He was itching to get her,” Inman said. “He kept radioing in, can he please get her, and he was told no because it wasn’t secure. You could see that male sheriff crying – he wanted to get her, he wanted to get her bad.”
Enon Beach sits near Interstate 70 and acts as a seasonal campground with some summer-only residents and others who live there year-round.
A girl who lives in the trailer park said she knew the shooting suspect and he had a temper.
“He was a quiet person, but if you made him mad – he wasn’t very pleasant,” 15-year-old Chelsea Bagley said.
Authorities were still investigating Saturday night and weren’t ready to say whether police gunfire killed the suspect, whose identity wasn’t released, Kelly said. It’s possible the suspect killed himself, he said.