TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A man who charged out of his house and shot and killed an Ohio police officer after a two-hour standoff had repeatedly made incoherent statements to negotiators and vowed he wouldn’t be taken alive, the police chief said Wednesday.
Officers fatally shot the man on Monday, seconds after he opened his front door and began firing two handguns, Toledo Police Chief George Kral said.
One of the shots struck Officer Brandon Stalker, who was crouched behind a police vehicle. Stalker, a 24-year-old who became an officer in 2018, died Monday at a hospital.
Police had been looking for Christopher Anderson, 27, because he was suspected of vandalizing the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo and setting fire to its doors this past weekend.
Officers surrounded his house Monday after spotting him with a gun, Kral said. He then barricaded himself before police used tear gas to force him out.
During the standoff, Anderson made several posts on social media, vowing not to go to jail and saying police would have to kill him, Kral said. Anderson also repeatedly made “wildly incoherent statements” and homicidal threats to police negotiators who talked with him on the phone, the chief said.
Family members told investigators that they believed Anderson suffered from mental illness and they had sought help for him in the past, Kral said.
Anderson was known to stand on a street corner with a sign that said “Jesus is Black” — the same phrase found written on the cathedral, Kral said.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said he was angry that Anderson could legally own the handguns even though his family believed he had a mental illness.
The police chief said his officers had properly handled the standoff and negotiations despite the outcome.
Anderson managed to get off nine shots before several officers returned fire, striking him eight times, Kral said.
Stalker, who leaves behind a fiancee and two children, is the second Toledo officer killed in the line of duty in the last six months.
Officer Anthony Dia, who was shot in a store parking lot by an intoxicated man in July, graduated from the police academy in 2018 with Stalker.