January 2, 2011 / 10:45 PM / 7 years ago

Ohio town mourns deputy, mother of 2, gunned down

<p>Clark County, Ohio, Sheriff's Deputy Suzanne Hopper, pictured in this undated handout photograph, was killed on January 1, 2011 during an investigation at a trailer park campground in Enon, Ohio.Clark County, Ohio Sheriff's Dept./Handout</p>

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - An Ohio sheriff's deputy shot and killed during an investigation in a trailer park was an exemplary officer, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said on Sunday.

Deputy Suzanne Hopper, 40 and the mother of two children, was a first-class officer who "never shirked her duties" and had an outstanding attendance record, Kelly told a news conference in Springfield, the county seat.

"When we needed a volunteer she had her hand up," he added.

Hopper was responding on Saturday to a report of gunfire at the trailer park in the town of Enon, northeast of Dayton, when the suspect in the case, 57-year-old Michael Ferryman, opened the door of a trailer and "fired a shotgun blast, fired in very close proximity," Kelly said, fatally wounding Hopper.

Law enforcement agencies from around the area responded to an "officer down" call, Kelly told reporters, and "after attempting to make contact, we opened fire, and from there was an exchange of fire" in which another area law enforcement officer, Jeremy Blum, was wounded.

Suspect Ferryman died during the incident, and there has been speculation he may have killed himself.

But Sheriff's department officials said the suspect could not be discussed in detail while Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation was investigating the case, although there had been department visits in the past to his trailer park premises.

Writing by Jerry Norton; Editing by Peter Bohan

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