LORAIN COUNTY DEPUTY SHOT
SHOOTER KILLS HIMSELF
AS POLICE CLOSED IN ON HIM
LaGrange Township – A Lorain County Deputy Sheriff is listed in fair condition after being shot Monday night in LaGrange.
Deputies responded to 375 Stable Drive in Pheasant Run Village after the mother of 42 year old Travis Stidham reportedly shot the family dog and cat claiming they were black and evil. Stidham then shot the television. Stidham’s mother was in Tennessee but was on the phone with her son when the shootings occurred. Deputies surrounded the home and attempted to talk Stidham into coming out of the house. Around 8:30 Stidham opened fire on the Deputies striking Deputy Charles Crausaz a 15 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office in the left armpit. Stidham, who was not hit, ran from the scene.
Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti said the 39 year old Deputy was wearing his bullet proof vest but he was hit in an unprotected area.
LaGrange Township Fire & Rescue responded to the scene and treated Crausaz before moving him to a field so he could be airlifted to a Cleveland hospital. It was reported that the Crausaz was talking with the medical teams and is expected to be ok. MetroHealth had him listed in fair condition late Monday night.
While the Crausaz was being treated Officers from around Lorain County and Medina County swarmed the area to search for Stidham who fled after he shot the Deputy.
The massive search included Law Enforcement from Elyria, Lorain, North Ridgeville, Avon, Avon Lake, State Patrol, Amherst, Lorain County Metro Parks Rangers, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Lodi, Spencer and others.
The Lorain County SWAT Team had met and was getting ready when a Cleveland Police helicopter spotted a man running in a field. The subject was reportedly heading towards Route 301 near Webster Road. The SWAT Team and other Officers began to respond to the area as the helicopter kept a close eye on him. As SWAT and the other Officers were getting close to the area the man turned the gun on himself – taking his own life.
SWAT members entered the field just south of Webster and just north of 19070 Route 301. With the spotlight of the helicopter guiding them they carefully approached the suspect and found Stidham dead in the field.