January 02, 2011
Sheriff's deputies, suspect in Ohio trailer park shootout are ID'd
Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Waughtel Hopper - [Springfield, Ohio]
By ANN SANNER
The Associated Press
Authorities on Sunday identified a man suspected of killing a sheriff's deputy and injuring a police officer in a gunbattle at a trailer park.
The Clark County sheriff's office provided few details about shooting suspect Michael Ferryman, who also was killed during the New Year's Day standoff in the Enon Beach mobile-home park, in western Ohio.
Ferryman, 57, lived in the trailer where the gunfire broke out with police, Chief Deputy David Rapp said.
The standoff started after Deputy Suzanne Hopper was called to the trailer park to investigate a report of gunshots, authorities say. Hopper, who was married last year and had two children, was shot dead as she tried to photograph a footprint at the park, about 50 miles west of Columbus.
Sheriff Gene Kelly told reporters at a Sunday news conference that Hopper and the officer who accompanied her to the trailer park believed the shooter was no longer in the area when they began their investigation. Then, Kelly said, Ferryman's trailer door opened near Hopper.
"One shotgun blast was fired at a very close proximity, striking the deputy, and it was a fatal wound," he said.
Kelly has said responding police officers tried to talk to Ferryman - who had "a history" with the sheriff's office - when he fired on them from inside the trailer. A German Township officer was wounded in the ensuing gunbattle, in which "many, many, many" shots were fired by the suspect and eight officers, Kelly said.
The wounded officer, Jeremy Blum, was listed in fair condition Sunday at a Dayton hospital.
Authorities had yet to determine whether police gunfire killed Ferryman or he killed himself. Agents from the state crime lab are helping with the investigation into Hopper and Ferryman's deaths and are looking into Ferryman's background, Kelly said.
Eight sheriff's deputies have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, Kelly told reporters. That's common procedure when deputies or police officers are involved in shootings.
No telephone listing for someone with Ferryman's name and date of birth could be found Sunday.
A girl who lives in the trailer park said she knew Ferryman 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 Saturday.
Her mother's boyfriend, John Burkhardt, said police spent several minutes over a loud speaker asking Ferryman to come out of his trailer and surrender. He said police gave Ferryman "25 chances to walk out of there" but he refused and then "all hell broke loose."
On Sunday, various law enforcement officials provided Hopper's body with a six-vehicle escort as it made its way from the coroner's office in Dayton to a funeral home in Springfield, Rapp said.
Hopper, 40, started with the county in 1999. She was known for her dedication to the job and adherence to keeping herself safe, Kelly said. The former officer of the year was wearing a protective vest Saturday, but it didn't shield her from the gunfire that killed her, Kelly said.