An Ohio detective has died three days after being shot twice in the face while serving a drug-related search warrant, police said.
Jorge DelRio, a 30-year veteran of the Dayton Police Department, was shot Monday evening as he went down to the basement of a residence that was being searched by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
He donated organs before he died, department officials said on Twitter.
“We have not even begun to adjust to a professional or personal life, that does not include George’s presence,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said during a short media briefing Thursday.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered that all US and state flags be lowered to half-staff on public buildings and grounds in Montgomery County, and at several state facilities in Columbus, according to a release from DeWine’s office.
“Fran and I send our deepest condolences to the DelRio family and the Dayton Police Department on the death of Detective DelRio,” DeWine said. “He leaves a distinguished legacy of service to his community.”
Three men charged
Officers found four men inside the home and apprehended a juvenile who attempted to flee.
One of the men, 39-year-old Nathan S. Goddard Jr., faces a federal charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer engaged in a federal investigation with a deadly weapon, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Ohio.
The warrant DelRio and DEA agents were serving came after a 3-month-long investigation into a fentanyl operation in the city, the attorney’s office said.
The federal search warrant was issued as a result of that investigation, the office said.
In the home, officers recovered two loaded pistols with extended 30-round magazines, an AR pistol in a package loaded with 28 live rounds of ammunition, about 28 pounds of fentanyl and cocaine, more than 50 pounds of marijuana and more than $50,000 in cash, Biehl said Tuesday.
Goddard is also charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine and marijuana, the US attorney’s office said.
Two of the other men, Cahke Cortner, 39, and Lionel Combs III, 40, are also charged with conspiring to distribute the drugs, it said.
If convicted, Goddard faces a maximum 30-year sentence for assaulting a federal office with a firearm, US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David M. DeVillers said in the news conference. The mandatory minimum for the narcotics conspiracy charge is between 20 years and life in prison, he said.
The three defendants are scheduled for a detention hearing Friday, the US attorney’s office said.
CNN has not been able to determine whether the men have attorneys.
’The shooting of this officer is an assault on this community’
DelRio joined the city’s police department in 1989 and was sworn in as a DEA task force officer in May 2000, Biehl said.
“There’s no doubt that through his hard work and dedication, Detective DelRio has saved and changed countless lives,” the chief said. “Through his own sacrifice and peril, Jorge exemplifies the Dayton Police Department’s motto: Honor through service and service with honor.”
DelRio’s work, Biehl said, had “impact regionally, nationally and internationally.”
The shooting of DelRio was tragic and “uncalled for,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr., said.
“The shooting of this officer is an assault on this community,” he said. “It’s an assault on the justice system in this community.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the community already has “endured too much senseless tragedy this year, and the Dayton Police Department has risen to the task each time.”
“In light of that, violence striking the department directly is especially painful,” she said in a Facebook post.