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December 13, 2011
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Police: Ohio man shot pets, cop, himself

Injured Deputy Charles Crausaz was reportedly in fair condition Tuesday morning

By PoliceOne Staff

LAGRANGE TWP., Ohio — Police said a man who fired at his pets and whose mother said he heard voices committed suicide after shooting a deputy Monday.

Lorain County Sheriff's Deputy Charles Crausaz, 39, was reportedly in fair condition Tuesday morning at Cleveland's MetroHealth Medical Center, according to the Plain Dealer. Travis Stidham, 42, shot himself in a field near his home after a SWAT team, responding to a call from his concerned mother, tried to talk to him from a PA system outside the house.

"The TV was talking to him. He shot the animals and then shot the TV," Stidham's mother said he told her.

After approximately 40 minutes with no response from Stidham, he exited the home and fired at officers, Capt. James Drozdowski said. Crausaz fired twice and was struck in the armpit.

Two deputies carried Crausaz to get medical attention, the Sandusky Register reported. Police returned fire, but it was unclear if any struck Stidham, who fled.

Police in a helicopter used infrared vision to search the area nearby, sources said, and from the sky, officers saw Stidham appear to kill himself. Elyria detectives are investigating the shooting, and an autopsy will be performed.

Having one of his officers shot was a "nightmare" for the law enforcement community, Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti said.



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