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Witness video released after knife-wielding suspect shot by Sandusky County deputy




Warning: Video contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.

Vickery, Ohio — New details and a video filmed by a witness have been released after a knife-wielding suspect was shot by a Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office deputy Tuesday.

At 5:17 p.m., the Cleveland Dispatch Center of the Ohio State Highway Patrol received calls about an assault occurring at the Erie Islands Service Plaza on the Ohio Turnpike in Sandusky County.

The initial reports were of a male suspect having stabbed at least two victims.

Deputies with the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office and troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to the plaza.

At 5:25 p.m., a deputy arrived on scene and made contact with the suspect, who has been identified as 51-year-old Thomas C. Conner of Beloit, Wisconsin.

Police say Conner was openly wielding a knife in the parking lot.

Multiple orders were given to Conner to drop the knife, and he failed to comply with those orders and charged at the deputy.

After unsuccessfully attempting to use less lethal munitions, the deputy shot Conner.

Conner was taken into custody, rendered first aid, and taken by Life Flight to an area hospital.

Conner is facing a charge of murder, a first-degree felony, and will be held with no bond. Upon release from the hospital, Conner will be incarcerated at the Sandusky County Jail.

The victim who died at the scene has been identified as 66-year-old David S. Diederich of La Porte, Indiana.

The victim who suffered life-threatening injuries has been identified as 53-year-old Alan L. Austin, of Delavan, Wisconsin. He has since been released from the hospital.

The officer who shot Conner is 39-year-old Deputy Evan Ely of the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office. He has 15 years of law enforcement experience and is a member of the county’s Special Response Team (SRT).

The preliminary investigation has revealed there were two stabbing victims, one of which died at the scene as a result of the attack. The second victim was taken by life flight to an area hospital for life-threatening injuries.

The homicide and assault are being investigated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The officer involved shooting of the armed suspect is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations on behalf of the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office. Both incidents remain under investigation.

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