CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH) – Dozens of Ross County residents attended a prayer vigil Sunday for a sheriff’s office sergeant who was injured in the line of duty this past week.
Photos posted to the Ross County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page show swaths of people holding hands along the street of Chillicothe in front of the Ross County Jail, where Sgt. Eric Kocheran was shot in the chest in a shootout with a suspect Thursday.
“A heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you who took time out of your day to attend the Prayer vigil for Sergeant Eric Kocheran,” Ross County Sheriff George W. Lavender Jr. posted. “Thank you to all who led us in prayer today. Not only did we pray for Eric and his recovery, but we prayed for each other – for our blue family, family, friends and whole community. What a blessing to be a part of this wonderful togetherness.”
Around 5 p.m. on Thursday, 42-year-old Nicholas Mitchell approached Kocheran at a law enforcement center. The two briefly exchanged words and Mitchell began to shoot Kocheran.
Kocheran exchanged gunfire and at least eight shots rang out in the body camera audio obtained by NBC4.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Mitchell had died of his injuries, while Kocheran remains at Grant Medical Center in Columbus in “serious condition.” The attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is investigating the incident.
Two blood drives honoring Kocheran will be held this week – one on Monday and another on Friday. Monday’s drive will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday’s will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both are at the Red Cross South Central Ohio Chapter office at 181 North Bridge Street in Chillicothe. Donors can schedule an appointment by clicking here.