June 19, 2015 / 5:05 PM / in 3 years

Cincinnati police officer, suspect killed in shooting

(Reuters) - A 27-year veteran of Cincinnati’s police department was fatally shot during an exchange of gunfire on Friday with a suspect who also was killed after officers responded to a report of a man acting erratically with a gun, authorities said.

Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told a news conference that his department “lost one of our best” with the death of Officer Sonny Kim. “Our hearts are broken,” Blackwell added.

Blackwell said officers and the suspect fired shots during the incident in the Madisonville neighborhood of Ohio’s third-largest city.

Blackwell said officers and the suspect fired shots. “Some type of struggle ensued in the middle of the street, there were multiple shots fired,” Blackwell said.

Kim and the suspect were taken to a local hospital in critical condition after the shooting, and both died.

The police chief gave no details about the suspect.

The incident comes at a time of increased attention on shooting incidents involving U.S. police.

Kim grew up in Chicago and had received 22 commendations since joining the Cincinnati police in 1988, Blackwell said. He is survived by a wife and three sons, he said.

A community vigil is planned for Friday night at a neighborhood cultural center.

Matt Strauss, real estate and marketing manager for the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., said the neighborhood had until Friday largely avoided an uptick in crime reported in Cincinnati as a whole.

“What makes this so shocking is that we’ve looked at the numbers, we’re one of the safest neighborhoods in town,” Strauss said.

Reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Kentucky; Editing by David Bailey and Will Dunham

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