(Reuters) - A police chief in a central Ohio town, on the job for just three weeks, was among four people fatally shot on Friday morning at a nursing and rehabilitation home, officials said.
Steven Eric Disario, 36, was killed after responding to a shooting in Kirkersville, Ohio, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said.
Disario was fatally shot after seeing the shooter who was holding two people hostage in a small wooded area behind the nursing home, Thorp said at an afternoon news conference. The hostages ran when the shooter fired and they were not harmed.
Thorp could not be reached for further comment, but local media, citing law enforcement officials, reported that two female nursing home employees and the shooter were later found dead inside the facility by other officers.
None of the three have been identified and the motive for the shooting was not immediately known. It is unclear how the shooter gained access to the building, which was usually secured, Thorp said at the news conference.
Some 23 residents in the nursing and rehabilitation home, identified by local media as the Pine Kirk Care Center, were evacuated to local hospitals, and none were injured, Thorp said.
Kirkersville is a village in central Ohio with a population of around 500 that is around 24 miles (39 km) east of Columbus. Disario, a father of five or six children who was expecting another child, had only been police chief for around three weeks, Thorp said.
“It’s a real hard day. It is a hard day for all of us,” Thorp said.
Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and David Gregorio