TOLEDO, Ohio — For the second time in less than a year, a Toledo police officer has been killed in the line of duty.
Officer Brandon Stalker died Monday after both he and a suspect in the arson and vandalism of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral were shot in a standoff.
Family friends of Officer Stalker told WTOL 11 he leaves behind a fiancé, a young daughter and a 3-month-old son.
The officer joined the Toledo Police Department in July 2018. He was classmates with Officer Anthony Dia, who was killed in the line of duty on July 4, 2020.
Condolences flooded social media from across the state, honoring Stalker's life and the sacrifice he made.
Toledo Police Department
Toledo police posted on Twitter that Officer Stalker is survived by a "loving family," both by "blood and blue."
Toledo Police Chief George Kral
Toledo Fire and Rescue Department
The fire department said, "our hearts are broken tonight for our brothers and sisters of the Toledo Police Department" in a tweet.
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Ohio Troopers posted a photo of a badge in honor of Stalker.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz
The mayor of Toledo also posted his condolences online, saying Stalker was a fantastic officer a proud new dad.
Lucas County Commissioners
Stalker played baseball for Whitmer and graduated in 2015. He was an assistant baseball coach last year for the Panthers.
University of Toledo Athletics
Ahead of Tuesday's men's basketball game, the Toledo Rockets held a moment of silence to honor Stalker.
Gov. Mike DeWine
Monday night, DeWine ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings in Lucas County and across Columbus.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost
The attorney general's office released the following statement:
“A man of valor and honor was killed, but valor and honor live on in his tens of thousands of partners across Ohio. Most of us live in peace and safety because people like Officer Stalker spend their working day at risk of violence. My heart breaks for the family he left behind, and for his brother and sister officers.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan
The U.S. attorney's office released the following statement:
"Today is a sad and devastating day for the city of Toledo and the entire law enforcement community as we mourn the loss of Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker. This is an unimaginable loss to the Toledo community, the Toledo Police Department and all who knew him. Words cannot describe the heartache and pain felt by the family and friends of Officer Stalker. I send my heartfelt condolences to his children, fiancée and family.
Officer Stalker had only just begun his career as a public servant when he was tragically killed. Few professions demand not only the best of people, but that they go to work every day willing to sacrifice their own lives for the greater good. Law enforcement is certainly one of those professions. Yesterday, Officer Stalker made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Department of Justice stands with the Toledo Police Department and offers our support during this difficult time. Tragically, this marks the second time in less than seven months that a member of the Toledo Police Department was killed in the line of duty as a result of firearms violence. Now, more than ever, and for the memory of Officer Stalker, let us show our support for the brave men and women in law enforcement who have chosen a profession that asks so much of them, their colleagues and their families.
Toledo is a safer community because of Officer Stalker and the nation mourns his loss."
Ohio Rep. Haraz Ghanbari
Ohio Sen. Theresa Gavarone
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas
The bishop released the following statement:
"With the most profound sorrow we mourn the tragic death of Officer Brandon Stalker, the 24-year-old who was shot and killed in the line of duty while protecting residents from a gunman during a standoff. We stand in prayerful solidarity with Officer Stalker’s family and friends, with Chief George Kral and the family of the Toledo Police Department, and with our entire community.
Together with all people of good will, I am deeply grateful for the selfless generosity of the men and woman in uniform who daily risk their own lives to protect and serve us all. Together, may we all commit ourselves to increased prayer and action to bring about an end to violence and all its underlying causes.
May Officer Brandon Stalker rest in the arms of our loving Father."
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan on the fatal shooting of Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker
"Today is a sad and devastating day for the city of Toledo and the entire law enforcement community as we mourn the loss of Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker. This is an unimaginable loss to the Toledo community, the Toledo Police Department and all who knew him. Words cannot describe the heartache and pain felt by the family and friends of Officer Stalker. I send my heartfelt condolences to his children, fiancée and family."