Suspect in shooting death of an Ohio police officer is found dead after standoff, officials say

EUCLID, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police officer was shot and killed after being “ambushed” while answering a disturbance call over the weekend, and a suspect was later found dead by police, authorities said Sunday.

Police in the Cleveland suburb of Euclid said officers were dispatched just before 10 p.m. Saturday to a home after a reported disturbance. The complainant had told police that her child’s father threatened to harm her and her mother, Euclid Police said in a statement Sunday evening.

After officers arrived at the scene, the woman stated that the suspect, identified by police as Deshawn Vaughn, was on foot and possibly nearby. Officers went to check the backyard where the suspect opened fire on them.

“While police were investigating, a gunman ambushed an officer, striking him with gunfire,” police said. Officers returned fire and the suspect fled the scene. The officer was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries, police said. Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in a search for the person responsible, authorities said. WKYC-TV reported residents who live on the street said they heard about a dozen gunshots.

Ohio's attorney general, Dave Yost, identified the slain officer as Jacob Derbin and said he was in his first year with the department. He was sworn in on July 24, 2023.

Yost vowed that the person responsible “will be found and will receive the full measure of justice.” Yost's office posted photos online of the 24-year-old suspect and the vehicle being sought.

Law enforcement agencies from Northeast Ohio later located Vaughn in an apartment complex, according to a statement from Euclid police. After a standoff, Vaughn was found deceased inside the apartment. Police did not say how he died.

Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate the standoff.

“It is a cruel irony that a mother lost her son on Mother’s Day, and that this murder happened just as we prepare to solemnize our fallen during Police Memorial Week,” Yost said in a statement. “My heart burns with anger at this injustice, for the family of this young officer and the Euclid Police Department.”

Euclid police asked in a statement early Sunday that people “keep the fallen officer, his family, loved ones, and our agency in your thoughts and prayers.”

“He was an amazing human being. Just a great heart. Had an incredible smile. The world’s a better place with him in it,” said Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer, WJW-TV reported.

Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail said in a statement Sunday that “we find ourselves grappling with a profound sense of sorrow and disbelief.” The mayor called on the community “to come together in solidarity and support, not only to honor a hero who selflessly served and protected us but also to offer strength to one another in this time of grief.”