Sheriff’s Seargent Wounded, Suspect Dead after Exchange of Gunfire at Jail

A Sergeant with the Ross County Sheriff’s Office was airlifted to a Columbus hospital early Thursday evening after being shot. Sergeant Eric Kocheran was taken to Grant Hospital where he was listed in serious condition.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office says Sergeant Kocheran was shot in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect just outside of the rear of the Ross County Law Complex around 5pm Thursday.

The suspect, identified as 42-year-old Nicholas Mitchell, was fatally shot by Kocheran as the officer returned fire. Mitchell was taken to Adena Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Video footage of the shooting provided by the Ross County Sheriff’s Office shows Mitchell walk up to the rear door of the law complex and knock on it. The door is soon answered by Sergeant Kocheran and words are then exchanged between the two where Mitchell tells Kocheran that someone has threatened his family and that he needs help. He then pulls a handgun from his coat pocket and hesitates before firing.

Sergeant Kocheran tells him not to do that, draws his service weapon, retreats and uses the door as cover. Separated by only a few feet, Kocheran and Mitchell exchange gunfire, and both are struck.

Below is audio of the exchange between Sergeant Kocheran and Mitchell, taken from Sergeant Kockeran's body cam. A warning: this audio ends with gunshots.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation. A motive for Mitchell’s actions has not been made available.

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