Slain Girard officer to be honored at Statehouse today


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By Samantha Phillips

sphillips@vindy.com

GIRARD

Police Officer Justin Leo will be honored for his sacrifice at the Ohio Statehouse today.

The presentation will honor Leo with Senate Condolence Resolution 324, which was his badge number.

Leo was shot and killed while responding to a domestic call on Oct. 21 on Indiana Avenue. The suspect was shot and killed by a second officer on the scene.

David Leo, Justin’s father, said he and his family will be there to see it. He said there was a time when his son was honored on the state level when his high-school team won the cross country state championship, “but circumstances are different now.”

“Justin served the community, and he did the best job he could every day,” David said.

The ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m., and the Leo family will be given a tour of the historic Statehouse in downtown Columbus.

“Officer Leo made the ultimate sacrifice during the fulfillment of his duties as a police officer – a sacrifice that we will never be able to fully repay,” said state Sen. Sean O’Brien of Bazetta, D-32nd. “Still, it is our hope that honoring and remembering him through the presentation of this resolution will provide some small measure of comfort to his family during this tragic time in their lives.”

People from across the country donated to the National Association of the Wolves’ Scholarship Fund after Leo’s death. David Leo, scholarship chairman, said the association will award four Girard students with $5,000 scholarships in his son’s honor in addition to eight $3,000 scholarships awarded to Trumbull County students. The students will receive their scholarships, which total $44,000, in May.

O’Brien noted Justin gave back to the community and was a youth baseball umpire and a basketball coach.

“We always need more people like that in our community – a fact that makes his loss even more devastating. All we can do now is remember him in any way we can and continue to do our best to support the men and women who put their own lives on the line to protect ours each and every day,” he added.

A live stream of the presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m. at www.ohiochannel.org.

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