Suspect shot after killing 1, stabbing another at Ohio Turnpike plaza

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:13 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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CLYDE, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed a stabbing suspect was shot during a standoff after killing one person and critically injuring another in the Erie Islands Service Plaza parking lot on Oct. 19.

The plaza services the westbound lanes of the Turnpike in eastern Sandusky County.

OHSP Pubic Information Officer Sgt. Ryan Purpura said the dispatch center was called at 5:17 p.m. for reports of a knife-wielding suspect who had stabbed at least two people at the plaza.

Once the Sandusky County Sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene at 5:25 p.m., it was termed as an “active killer situation,” Sandusky County Sheriff Chris Hilton said.

When he learned there were several victims, the deputy tried to talk to the suspect and “used less than lethal ammunitions initially which had no effect on the suspect. And at that point, the suspect charged at the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office deputy, and the deputy discharged his weapon, shooting and stopping the gentleman from continuing his attack,” according to Hilton.

Authorities said the suspect was taken into custody, given first aid, and flown to a Toledo-area hospital in an unknown condition.

One of the stabbing victims died at the scene, which happened in the plaza’s parking lot, OHSP said.

Purpura said the OSHP will be investigating the homicide on one victim and the assault on the second victim.

The second victim was flown to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Purpura.

Hilton said the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations for the officer-involved shooting.

When asked if the victims were patrons or employees, Purpura said, “It looks like it was random people that had stopped at the service plaza.”

“It appears, preliminary, that it was a very random act of violence,” Hilton said.

When asked in the press conference if the situation was handled as best as it could have been overall, Hilton responded, “Again, we’re still gathering those facts. We kind of hope it is. You know, we train for this type of stuff. State patrol trains for this kind of stuff. Training has been increased, again, in the current climate that we live in today. I feel as though the deputy and all of the information that’s going to come out will show that he did do things correctly. But again, that’s an investigation that’s going to be ongoing for quite some time.”

Authorities do not yet have an estimated time that the plaza will reopen to the public.

Purpura assured that the Turnpike should still be considered a “safe place to travel,” but also reminded travelers that “it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings.

The Turnpike remains open.

Return to 19 News for updates.

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