CANTON, Ohio – A man who walked into a Bob Evans restaurant and fatally shot a waitress on Friday was captured after a day-long manhunt that included U.S. marshals, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement.
Richard J. Nelson, 54, of Canton, is accused of walking into the shop at 9:30 a.m., going behind a counter and opening fire, and the waitress Rebecca Jean Rogers, 38, several times in a back one Having shot hallway. Authorities say it was a domestic-related shootout.
The shooter fled the scene after the shooting and stayed at large for hours before being caught.
About half a dozen customers and six to eight employees were in the restaurant at the time of the shooting.
Police were called to a report of multiple shots involving multiple victims, Police Chief Jack Angelo said at the scene.
“As tragic as that is, it could have been a lot worse,” he said. Only the waitress was shot.
Angelo said the officers arrived just before the SWAT team, which was conducting a training exercise nearby, and cleared the building.
Rogers, who last lived in Massillon, was taken to the Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital, where she later died of her injuries.
A Bob Evans employee, who dialed 911 during the shooting, can hear him telling people to “get down, tell them to get down”.
When the dispatcher asks if anyone was shot, she says she doesn’t know. You and the others hide under tables.
“We can’t get out. We’re scared.”
On another 911 call, a customer said she had just heard four or five gunshots. “We all just ran out. There were some older people and my husband just made sure they were out.”
Angelo said Nelson went out with Rogers but they broke up.
Rogers filed a police report against Nelson in March 2017 after entering her home. Nelson was charged with threat and burglary stalking and was taken to Stark County Jail, according to court records.
But later Rogers was found guilty of filing a false police report on the case.