Officers statewide mourning Kirkersville police chief

Police officers from all over central Ohio were in Newark on Friday to escort the body of Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DeSario to the medical examiner. (WSYX/WTTE)

The death of Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario stunned police officers across Ohio.

DiSario was shot and killed Friday as thousands of police officers from across the country head to Washington D.C. to remember other people who have been killed in the line of duty.

Officers from across Licking County started heading to Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark as soon as word spread about DiSario being shot at a nursing home in Kirkersville.

Shortly after it was announced he died, a line of Columbus Police officers on motorcycles and in their cruisers headed to the hospital to escort DiSario's body.

"It was good to see all the fellow communities coming out, going with him as they took him," said Michelle McPherson who walked outside to see the procession.

Officers from several nearby departments escorted DiSario's body from the hospital to the coroner's office.

"It just brings everything so much closer to home," said Jay McDonald, the president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police.

McDonald said losing an officer is something he has unfortunately dealt with before.

"Your heart just breaks for that family knowing that they're embarking on such a long period of grief as they try to come to grips with what happened simply because their husband, father was rushing toward danger," he said.

McDonald said he goes to Washington every year for the National Peace Officers Memorial. He goes to remember the brothers and sisters in law enforcement he's lost. DiSario became the latest name for him to keep in mind.

"It is a somber, sobering service and the reason we're going to D.C. is equally somber," McDonald said.

McDonald said it's not uncommon for the chief of a small police force to respond to calls themselves like DiSario did Friday.

He said hundreds of officers from Ohio will be in Washington this weekend. Roughly 50,000 officers from across the country are expected. The National Peace Officer Memorial is scheduled to begin Monday.

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